November 26, 2020 – The popcorn from the first Croatian popcorn factory is made exclusively from home-grown ingredients, without using additives, and comes in many different flavors.
As Jutarnji list reports, Zagreb got its first popcorn factory a little over a month ago. Behind this great project called PopUp Corn is Marijan Babić, who came up with the idea of opening the first Croatian popcorn factory while preparing another snack during the spring lockdown.
“The idea was to create a snack that people won’t be afraid to give to children because they don’t know how it’s made, but also that adults can enjoy the same snack, just like we all enjoy when we make our popcorn at home,” explained Babić, whose popcorn is made exclusively from home-grown ingredients. Also, they are baked in dry air without oil, which is why they retain their freshness and remain crispy, and then they are also seasoned, mixed, and packaged by hand.
They come in several flavors: salty, with butter, cheese, chili, and the Mediterranean. For lovers of sweet snacks, there are variants with caramel and a combination of black and white chocolate.
“We don’t use any additives. We have 10 ingredients that we use in the preparation of popcorn and that’s it. All the corn comes from the Vukovar area, and butter, dehydrated cheese, chili, sun-dried tomatoes, chocolate, vegetable and olive oil, and everything else also comes from domestic producers. Even the bags are Croatian,” said Marijan Babić, adding that his goal is to support domestic producers.
More than a snack
Due to the current rather uncertain situation, Babić initially decided to sell his popcorn only on his website.
Popcorn is currently made from the popcorn type butterfly, the most common and most recognizable to domestic customers, the one from which popcorn is most often baked at home, in an old-fashioned way, on the stove in a pot, covered with a lid.
They recently introduced another type of popcorn called mushroom, which, Babić explained, is more suitable for gourmet popcorn, especially for sweet variants. They are most easily recognized by the shape of a butterfly or mushroom.
“We will soon be launching gourmet popcorn for which we will use the mushroom variety of corn. We finally managed to find it here so we decided to use it to produce special flavors such as popcorn with gin and tonic, cracklings, and truffles. They will be created for die-hard popcorn fans, but also those real gourmets who are looking for something more in the snack,” said Babić.
They do not lack new ideas
His small popcorn factory currently employs eight people, and he plans to climb to a high 24. The reason is the philosophy he learned from foreign producers of quality popcorn (which he has enjoyed for years on every trip abroad) which dictates that human hands mean far more than machines. Also, more employees would help him realize his plans – to climb from the initial 30,000 to the desired 120,000 popcorn bags per month.
But that is not the end of his wishes and plans. Namely, he would like to make PopUp popcorn available to a larger number of interested people and one day open a specialized store where customers would bake and spice up their popcorn. But at the moment, Babić says they are focused on production and gift packages that are in great demand.
“We have ideas, and we want to implement it carefully and show the quality of our products in the best way,” concluded Marijan Babić.
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