We're excited to introduce you to Charlene, the owner of EATABLE, a 100% all natural alcohol infused gourmet popcorn company based in Toronto, ON. All of their popcorn is made with non-GMO locally sourced ingredients and their flavours are inspired by classic wines, spirits, and cocktails! We hope you enjoy getting to know Charlene a little more.
1.What does the perfect morning look like to you?
- Waking up early (with lots of coffee!) and starting the day off quietly with time for reflection and meditation.
2. What's your favourite thing about owning a small business?
- The freedom to be my own boss, with flexible working hours to balance both business and motherhood!
3. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
- Anywhere with a beach and the ocean breeze works for me!
4. What did you do before you started your business?
- I was a professional accountant (CPA) who was always creative at heart - I soon discovered that the corporate ladder was not for me! After my own wedding I started my first business designing wedding invitations and stationery. After having my first child I decided to switch gears, and moved to Boston to work for a startup. A year later, my husband and I joined forces to pursue our love of good eats, and EATABLE popcorn was born.
5. What's your proudest moment in your business so far?
- Filming Season 14 of CBC's Dragon's Den! We went in as a brand new business, and felt like underdogs from the beginning - we took a beating from the Dragons (that's reality TV for you) but walked out triumphant!
6. What makes you laugh the most?
- My 4-year old's crazy antics - kids say the darnedest things at this age, and though it's hard to be a mom running a business, I know one day I will look back upon this time and miss it a lot.
7. What's your favourite family tradition?
- We go up to Algonquin Park (in Ontario) every year just as the leaves are starting to change colours for the fall - it's the most beautiful time of the year, and I love breathing in the fresh air just north of the city!
8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- On the business front, I hope to be managing a larger team and to have our products available in retailers across the country and in the US. On the home front, I hope to have more time to spend with my family, and to be able to attend all my son's soccer games! Also hope to travel more!
9. What's one of your biggest values when it comes to your business?
- Making sure that everyone on our team feels they have the flexibility to manage their work schedule around the demands of their family. I feel that we now live in a time where 9-5 work hours are becoming more irrelevant, as long as your team clearly understands what is expected of them. People should be able to define their schedules that work best for them. If you feel like you've got a good handle on your personal life, you'll be able to bring your best self to the workplace - it's all related!
10. What's the biggest problem your business solves for people?
- We are redefining people's expectations about gourmet snacks. So many confectionary products on store shelves are made with artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives. We've always believed that the best food is made with REAL ingredients. Even though we create a packaged product, we refused to put anything artificial into our snacks - You can really taste the difference!
11. What's the biggest challenge you've overcome in your business?
- As a self-starter, it was natural to feel the need to do everything yourself especially in the very early days of starting the business. We quickly learned that it is downright impossible to be doing everything ourselves (as much as we wanted to). We knew that in order to take our business to the next level, we had to invest in building a team and leveraging on other people's strengths to fill in our skills and knowledge gaps.
12. When people shop from you, how does that impact you and your family?
- When people buy from us, they are supporting food artisans that truly believe in quality and pushing the boundaries of the status quo to create gourmet, delicious food the NATURAL way. It may not always be the easiest or cheapest way, but true Connoisseurs will appreciate the quality when they taste and experience it. The support of our customers means that we can continue doing what we love everyday, and also helps us pay it forward in our community as well - a portion of all EATABLE proceeds is used to sponsor events and support organizations that promote the values of self-empowerment through entrepreneurship, and physical and mental well being.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Charlene a little more. You can check out their entire collection of 100% all natural gourmet popcorn on their website.
Use coupon code: SLC15 to save 15% off your order.