The pop man...
Growing up in the 1980's I spent many summers in South Wales with my Grandparents. I have written about this before but needless to say I loved my visits and idolised my Grandfather.
My Grandfather spoiled me rotten much to the frustration of my Grandmother! He had many little tricks, schemes and excursions to amuse and delight me. One such excursion was our trip to see the pop man. The pop man was actually the local Spar shop, but Grandpa would save up a dozen or more empty Corona bottles for us to return to the pop man. Each one worth the princely sum of 10p. With my payout of £1.20 I could afford 2 bottles of pop, plus change! Lemonade and ginger beer were my refreshments of choice. Grandpa had an unusually sweet tooth and I fear I may have inherited it!
I don't know or recall the ingredients in those glass bottles of Corona fizzy drink, however as parent now I do pour over the ingredients on soft drinks before allowing my sons a sip! Modified corn syrup, a key constitute in many major brands, is a cheaper substitute for sugar, made from excess grains the complex carbohydrates are manipulated into simple sugars - bingo a cheap sugary substitute - but at what cost? Much of this modified corn syrup originates from the grain belts of the Mid West of America - notorious monocultures where little is allowed to grow save for millions of acres of grain. More over vast quantities of fossil fuel is used to ensure the grains grow prolifically. In short modified corn syrup is an environmental nightmare.
So is that an end to my pop guzzling, torn between a sweet tooth and trying to do the best for the planet am I that parent who insists on water for his kids when everyone else is enjoying something sweet & fizzy? Fortunately no. This weekend we have started to sell the fantastic range of presé, mixers and juice from Folkingtons. Based in Sussex this family run firm make outstanding drinks and mixers with a heavy focus on sustainability and the environment. They use carefully selected ingredients to create outstanding flavours, which stand out beautifully in their own right or blend wonderfully with spirits to make the perfect combination. Read the label and you won't find Aspartame, modified corn syrup or anything artificial.
Speaking with co founder Frances Bendit, I was so impressed with their commitment to not only producing awesome drinks with real integrity but also their commitment to the planet and sustainable sourcing and production. Our first delivery arrived with a brilliant report outlining the exciting things that Folkingtons do to ensure they continue to be environmentally responsible producers.
So at last I have become the pop man! There's no 10p back on spent bottles or cans, but when you take the first sip and savour the taste I don't think you'll mind!