Interview With Winner Of Recipe To Riches – Garth Midgley
Last night Garth Midgley won the first series with his Chocorn recipe. He wins $100,000 and a business partnership with Woolworths. Chocorn was pretty tasty when I tried and it apparently sold out in many of the supermarkets.
Here in this exclusive interview with Garth we discuss the show, his contract with Woolworths, and the future of Chocorn.
Reality Ravings: Congratulations for winning the first series of Recipe To Riches. How do you feel?
Garth Midgley: I’m feeling overwhelmed, excited, amazed.
RR: Apparently Chocorn had sold out in quite a few of the Woolworths stores were you aware of that?
GM: The sales figures we don’t get told but I had a feeling it sold quite well. Everyone I spoke to was really loving the product and I had a feeling I was in there with a good chance, but I was still very very nervous.
RR: I understand you have been working on this product for ten years. Had you pitched it other supermarkets or other companies before?
GM: It started out as a plan to go to markets and to brands independently. After trying that for three years and not having the funds and the time to really push. I did actually call Cadbury’s to see if they would be interested in doing it with me seven years ago but before even getting to speak about it they said they don’t really work with the public on ideas so we don’t want to hear about. After hearing that I basically gave up on it.
RR: Hasn’t Cadbury’s got its own Chocolate Popcorn product?
GM: Yes they made one in the UK a year ago and they just brought that one out here about three months ago.
RR: How did that make you feel when you saw that hit the shelves?
GM: I was nervous about having a competitor come out. Their product came out here after my show had been filmed but before it had been aired. It had not been on the shelves when I had pitched it. I was nervous that it might be a contender and a bit of a competitor. I actually went out and bought the Cadbury’s product and I did these sneaky focus group tests with my friends and family without letting them know which one was which. Everybody preferred Chocorn so that was a massive relief.
RR: You had three flavours in the original one and we will get to see them back on our shelves in January in Woolworths. Are you going to be putting other flavours out?
GM: I have already got over 20 different flavours of Chocorn that I have mastered. I have maybe 50 flavours I am experimenting with or want to go back to. For the batch up on TV I actually did six different flavours of popcorn that I had the recipes for. The other three flavours would be ones I would love to bring out with them as soon as possible.
RR: When you saw the concept of the show Recipe To Riches did you think I need to apply for this show, this is exactly what I am trying to do?
GM: I was actually really surprised because it was really weird timing. I came up with Chocorn as an idea ten years and I had been paying for the registration for the domain name for ten years and literally just weeks before I saw the ads for the program that came up for renewal and I thought what am I doing paying for these domain name for ten years, so I thought I would cancel them. Then the show came up and I thought this could be the last chance of Chocorn. I sent the recipe in and a week later I got an email saying your domain name is about to expire. So I thought I better jump back on that. It seemed to good to be true, it was meant to be.
RR: You are a bit of an inspiration for people to know you have confidence in your idea and eventually you will get a breakthrough. What are you going to do with your $100,000 first prize?
GM: That would buy me all the chocolate I could ever need.
RR: You get the $100,000 but what happens with Woolworths do they buy that product from you out right? Do you get any profits from that in the future?
GM: The general concept of the show is that you get that $100,000 prize but the real main prize is you get to go into partnership with Woolworths. Chocorn will be brand that we will both continue to work on and own together and drive together. So potentially I should receive profit shares from the product.
RR: I hope that’s right as reality TV contracts are particularly onerous at times so hopefully you will continue to benefit.
RR: So your a graphic artist, a part-time musician but are you a full-time Chocornian now?
GM: I have my own company that makes video games. I have had an absolutely blessed life all those wishes I made as a child have all come true. I am a chocoholic who loves Willie Wonka. My show aired on the 1st October which is the same day that Charlie enters the chocolate factory in the movie. I have been lucky enough to work on Atari, Transformers games, and Star Wars games.
RR: You’ve had your time on TV would you go on another reality TV show and if so which one?
GM: I am quite a fan of Masterchef and I love cooking new things and I don’t like cooking the same thing twice. Masterchef does look like a lot of hard work but it looks like a lot of fun.
Chocorn will be on the shelves of Woolworths in January.