This Wigan schoolboy has landed his dream job of ‘chief taster’ at Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls

Bosses at the confectionary company said they were "bowled over" by Ethan Rowbotham's ideas and enthusiasm.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 24th January 2023

It’s hard to see someone else living out your dream, but a Wigan schoolboy has got himself a side gig as a professional sweet taste-tester.

Ethan Rowbotham is a massive fan of Wigan’s finest fresh breath treats, Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, and after the world-famous confectionery maker made an appeal for volunteers, the 10-year-old from Standish was appointed ‘Chief Taster’.

Bosses at Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls said they were “bowled over” by Ethan’s ideas and enthusiasm, and have invited him to start his new role at the town’s Toffee Works factory.

They weren’t kidding about his passion either, as Ethan not only insisted that Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls were his “absolute favourite” sweet in his application for the role, but he also suggested a bunch of potential new flavour ideas too.

Some of his suggestions include a ‘summer tropical’ edition – consisting of mango, pineapple, passionfruit, jack fruit and dragon fruit – several winter-themed flavours such as pomegranate, spiced pear and plum, some spring editions with cherry blossom and apple blossom, and an extra-special Christmas pudding-flavoured Mint Ball for the festive season.


We can see why he got the job.

The confectionary company said they were “bowled over” by Ethan’s enthusiasm / Credit: Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls

“I entered the competition because I am excited to taste new flavours,” Ethan told ITV Granada.


“Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls are my favourite because I like the sweet taste and when I crunch it, I like the explosion of mint [so] I’m so excited to go around the factory.”

His proud mum Lisa added: “Ethan was so excited when we told him he had been asked to be Chief Taster [as] he worked hard on his application, thinking of all the reasons why he would be perfect for the job.

“We are incredibly proud and happy for him.”


The chance to become a member of the Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls tasting panel was open to people of all ages, and follows the overwhelming response from fans to social media posts about new products and innovations.

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Ethan will be joined by five other volunteers to help taste prototype sweets and put forward their own ideas, as well as give feedback on existing varieties.

Featured Image – Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls