“Don’t think about it too much and just do it,” Meet The Women Behind Alcoholic Ice Pop Brand Poptails

If anyone were to ask us our two favourite things about summer, ice cream and alfresco cocktails would be right up there. With Poptails by LAAP, the colourful, fun, fresh-fruit & booze based poptail brand you’ve got both. Because good things really can happen in 2017.

With three main staple products made from good quality alcohol and all natural ingredients, a whole load of evolving recipes that you can customise yourself and some of the most beautiful packaging we’ve seen in a while we might add, these guys really caught our eye.

So we caught up with the two French women behind the brand, Laura Faeh and Cécilia Thomas, in their office in Hoxton Studios to find out more about our latest small business crush.

Tell us a little bit more about Poptails:

Cécilia: “So we are an alcoholic ice-pop brand. We started out very small two years ago doing home made products and attending markets around East London. Now we’re in our second summer, we’ve grown slightly. We still have one home made product which has a lot of room for customisation and one which is more of a standard product with three different flavours: the Limon Colada, made from Limocello, lemon & coconut, the Strawberry Mojito, made from strawberry, rum & mint & our Tropical Punch, which is rum, mango & pineapple.

“We came up with all the recipes ourselves and I think what our product is really all about – obviously, there is the alcohol – but is fresh fruit sorbets, we really emphasise that. We brought a kind of gourmet approach to the concept of poptails.”

What inspired the three recipes?

Laura: “Over the last two years we’ve tried quite a lot of recipes, we had a huge note book on the computer full of them. Now because we offer this customisation option, it makes us create new recipes all the time and keeps us being creative. We chose these cocktails because fruit were dominant, so it gave us a nice basis to make the sorbet and had the best pallette.

“Actually the limoncello one we created for Armani because they wanted something specifically made out of Italian liquor – so we did one with limoncello, amaretto & prosecco and we liked this one the most.”

What made you start Poptails? 

Laura: “We both come from entrepreneurial families so I think we both always wanted to create our own companies. Before launching Poptails I was working in the design industry and Cécilia was working as in a graphic design agency. Cécilia had the idea for poptails after interning with a Vodka brand ages ago and creating vodka ice lollies in our own kitchen. We don’t actually have any professional food background but we learnt as we went along.”

Cécilia: “Some people work in the food industry think you must do things a certain way but I always think if you don’t try something, you won’t get it.”

Starting your own business is always a challenge, what have been the highlights & what have been the struggles?

Cécilia: “I think getting started can be really challenging because it’s scary to leave your daily routine – your job and security – but I guess when there’s two it’s easiest because you have the other person for support”

Laura: “Yes, when one is down the other can be like ‘Oh it’s OK’”.

Cécilia “But I think you just have to get on with it and really don’t think about it too much and just do it.”

Laura: “Also I think when something nice happens, when you’re approached by someone who likes the product, then it’s very rewarding because it’s all down to you. I guess the first thing I remember was when I saw a stranger walking and eating one of the poptails, I couldn’t believe they had something we had made. I think when it’s yours and you have to take responsibility for everything, you can’t blame it on anyone else, it’s all on you, it can be hard but very rewarding.”

poptails

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?

Cécilia: “I quite like the idea of ‘do what you love and love what you do’. I think when you really put all of your efforts and good thinking to what you’re doing, it will all go well in the end.”

Laura: “I think the thing that stands out for me was what my Dad said that when we were starting. He said if this is what you want to do, then you have to do it because it can’t go wrong. Even if it’s not the biggest company in the world, you’ll get so much out of it and it’s true. We learnt so much and we’ve met so many nice people so I think it’s worth it.”

Describe a typical day in the life of Poptails?

Laura: “I wake up, I have a shower, I get ready and I always have breakfast before going to the office. While I’m eating breakfast I will read my emails so I can get on top early. Then it really depends, because none of our days are the same. You can arrive here and go straight to meetings with clients or you can spend all day here calling people and setting up meetings. Or we could be at events promoting the brand, we don’t really have one typical day because it’s just every day different. Then in the evening – eat!”

Cécilia: “Yes, pretty similar!”

So you’ve mentioned working with Armani, who have been the other collaborations you’ve been working with? 

Laura: “We’ve done something with Armani, we’ve done something with the Estee Lauder group, Hunter & Warehouse. We have a long term collaboration with the biggest French champagne brand, we’ve done loads with them in a marketing sense to make the brand young again & give it a fresh brand image, so that was great.”

Would you say collaboration is an important thing for you and why?

Laura: “I think collaboration is really part of our values. We try to collaborate with nice photographers, brands and always create something that reflects our ideas and things like that. We want to be more of a lifestyle brand really and collaborations are very important to that.”

Do you have anything exciting coming up in the future that you can share?

Cécilia: “We would tell you if we could say!”

How do you stay motivated?

Laura: “I think it’s really motivating when you see the opportunities. I think because I really believe in the product and I have so many big ideas, so many places that I can see selling the product and have so much to do that I don’t really have time not to be. ”

Cécilia: “I think when you see how people like the product, that’s what really motivates me.”

Meet Poptails

What’s in your khoollection?

Laura: “For me it’s lipstick, I have many, many colours of lipstick and a lot of friends working in cosmetics so they always give me colourful ones.”

Cécilia: “Food magazines, I always buy some when I travel or go somewhere new. I don’t do it much at the moment, it’s more of a winter thing really, I hardly cook during summer. I also like small objects, like tiny bottles of jam or shampoos.”

How would you spend a day off?

Cécilia: “Go to a market and buy food and vegetables is always a good way to reset.”

Laura: “There is a farmers market in Stoke Newington where we live and we love to go for a walk and come home and cook.”

What piece of advice would you give your younger selves? 

Laura: “I think I would tell myself to do a bit more sport so I would be more used to it, then I’d have a bit more energy.”

Cécilia: “I think I could say the same about myself to be honest because I’m really really bad at having the discipline to do it. Discipline is the one, I’m a bit too organic in my ways.”

What are your favourite places to eat around London? 

Cécilia: “It’s always hard with this question because there’s always so many things happening in London but I think for me, it’s the markets; we fell in love. Then 40 Maltby Street is a really great place to have a quick tapas.”

Laura: “I think my favourite restaurants is Primeur in Newington Green, I love the vibe there, they have very, very nice wine and great food, I’ve never been disappointed. Even the space, it’s so simple but it’s definitely my favourite place. I also love the markets in London. For coffee I love All Press in Dalston – who also have really nice breakfasts – I love that you can sit outside, sometimes when it’s sunny and you’re just on the floor, it’s just perfect.”

What are the places in Paris that you like to visit when you go back?

Cécilia: “There’s so many new things happening in Paris since I moved away six years ago, the city has changed a lot. It’s becoming a lot more like London, it’s a lot more interesting with what you can get now. There’s a lot more Israeli cooking actually, which is very surprising, I’m still discovering it all.

“Recently I went to a very, very good place called Abri Soba which has a Japanese Chef doing super simple Japanese tapas and it’s really perfect, one of the best places I’ve been in Paris, even the price is good! Next time you’re there you should go there.

“As well as that, a place called Fulgurances, which is very popular at the moment. They change the Chef every six months; I’ve been twice and it’s been great both times.”

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Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photog...

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