Homegrown Business: Charlene and Vincent Li of Eatable

Our latest featured business are purveyors of fine…popcorn? That is right, Toronto company Eatable is taking on the popcorn racket with their 100% all-natural gourmet popcorn featuring alcohol-infused flavours inspired by classic cocktails, wine, and spirits.

Eatable

We spoke with founders Charlene and Vincent Li about the product and how we can get some.

What is your business called and what does it do?

EATABLE creates luxurious, refined snacking experiences for Modern Connoisseurs. Our flagship launch product is 100% all-natural gourmet popcorn featuring alcohol-infused flavours inspired by classic cocktails, wine, and spirits.

What made you want to do this work?

We’re a couple of spirits enthusiasts that bonded during a Toronto wine-tasting class. As a health-conscious consumers, we were frustrated by the lack of clean, yet flavourful packaged snacks sold in stores.

We’ve always believed the best food is made fresh with REAL ingredients, so together, we set out to create a perfect pairing of our two loves: snacking + alcohol using 100% natural ingredients – no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives.

For over a year, our kitchen was a testing ground. Our first creation, “Whisky on the Pops” was a bold, smoky Scotch Whisky-infused caramel popcorn. This flavour won a pitch competition hosted by a Boston food start-up incubator, proving we had brought something truly unique to the retail market.

Eatable

What problem does this solve?

Many packaged snacks in the market contain artificial filler ingredients and preservatives. It was important to us to create our snacks using non-GMO, locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, and keep it 100% natural, while still maintaining the perfect balance of texture and flavour.  Our popcorn is hand-crafted in small batches using time-tested artisanal methods from our Toronto-based production facility.

We are challenging the traditional perception of popcorn as a budget snack food, and elevating it to the status of a luxury confectionary product by only using 100% natural ingredients, and building our product offerings around flavors found in wines and spirits.

Our products make awesome unique gifts, and are a sure crowd-pleaser at parties and celebrations.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

EATABLE appeals to snacking Connoisseurs who appreciate the finer things in life – good quality ingredients and unique experiences.

Our snacks are also a luxurious indulgence for expecting and nursing moms wanting a guilt-free treat — After our cooking process is completed, the end result is virtually alcohol-free.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We are currently selling our products online.  Over the coming months we’ll be launching new flavours and different formats of our product including custom-branded bags, party and event favours, as well as a subscription box with exclusive swag.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

Currently, our products are only sold online at eatable.com, but we’re working on getting into store shelves at local grocery chains, boutiques, and businesses around the city!

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?

When comparing our product with others, make sure you check out the ingredients label, and of course touch and taste the product to experience the difference!

Stay away from products that contain palm oils or hydrogenated oils, glucose-fructose or highly processed ingredients (that you can’t pronounce). We’ve taken care to ensure that our flavours aren’t overly sweet, and that there’s no oily grease left on your fingers after eating!

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

What we love best is hearing how much our customers enjoyed our unique flavours, and how they’ll never think of popcorn the same way again!

The worst part of operating an e-Commerce business is dealing with shipping – it’s additional cost and time that stands in between our freshly-popped product and it getting into customers’ hands to enjoy!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Never in a million years would we ever have thought we’d be making popcorn for a living!

Charlene comes from an accounting and finance background, and Vince comes from a technology and real estate background.

Entrepreneurship has been a roller coaster, but we believe life has a funny way of taking you where you need to go — We both left our corporate jobs to pursue our passions and we wanted to create something that would remind people how important it is to savour the time to CELEBRATE all that’s good in your life with those you love.  Everyday wins, big or small should always be celebrated.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

We have so much respect for people working in creative fields: We had such a blast working with Alberto Jannarone, who produced the EATABLE brand video that’s seen on our website and social media ads.

We also love fashion/lifestyle brands like OVO and Peace Collective who have managed to transcend their local reach and cross industries to appeal to a wider audience.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1638 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography