Essex’s ‘popcorn king’ bags Tesco backing

Greg Taylor of Retrocorn at Witham.

Greg Taylor of Retrocorn at Witham. - Credit: Archant

A fledgling food firm started by a budding Essex entrepreneur in his grandma’s kitchen is celebrating after bagging support from Tesco.

Greg Taylor set up premium popcorn company Retrocorn three years ago and over that time it has moved from his grandma’s Chelmsford home to premises in Witham where it is popped and blended with nostalgic flavours, such as rhubarb and custard, strawberries and cream, cherry pips, lemon and lime sherbet, and cola cubes.

It has now been chosen to feature in supermarket giant Tesco’s BackIt campaign, after it was discovered as part of its search to find the best small food and drink businesses in the UK.

“It’s basically Tesco giving me a huge platform to get Retrocorn in front of my two key markets, consumers and retailers,” said Greg, who lives in Colchester.

“BackIt works on a crowd-funding basis in return for certain rewards while Tesco itself will give me free advice and mentoring from industry experts.”

Greg’s products are already stocked by various independent chains, including the Star Co-op Group in Essex and the East of England Co-op, and they are even being exported to Sweden, with trials under way in China.

“I’ve even had interest from the United States, so it’s a very exciting time for Retrocorn but my ambition has always been to become a household name here, at home in Britain,” he said.

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“My ultimate goal would be to see Retrocorn as a guilt-free treat that everyone can enjoy as part of their lunch. It’s normal when you have your sandwich to have a bag of crisps with it, well why not popcorn too, or as a replacement to a chocolate bar? Retro Corn is low calorie, gluten-free and made entirely with natural ingredients.”

Greg is now hoping to raise £7,500 to enable him to showcase his range at the BBC Good Food show June and Lunch in September, a dedicated Food to Go event at the Excel in London.

He says he is hoping it will lead to him being able to expand his business and premises and create more jobs in Essex.