This excerpt is from an article by Jenny Lee that appeared in The Vancouver Sun on January 18, 2014.
An on-air deal is no promise of a signed deal after the show. The deal closure rate varies dramatically from Dragon to Dragon, said Chilton, who has closed 15 deals over two years. "In the real world, after signing the letter of intent, 10 to 15 per cent close. In the last two years on Dragons' Den, that percentage has been higher," Chilton said. We check in with a few B.C. companies that have appeared on the show.
Holy Crap CerealCorin and Brian Mullins of Holy Crap cereal were offered a $120,000 deal on Dragons’ Den, but they didn’t take it. The retired Gibsons, B.C., couple created the gluten free, vegan, organic cereal to address Brian’s food sensitivities. They started selling it at farmers’ markets and online in 2009. When they appeared on Dragons’ Den a year later, orders catapulted to 2,000 a day from 100 a month. They sold more than $1 million online in the week after the show aired. Due diligence Dragon Jim Treliving, best known as co-owner of Boston Pizza, proposed Holy Crap work with a contract packer/manufacturer in Edmonton. “Edmonton is lovely, but we didn’t known anybody there,” Corin said. “We wanted to keep the company here in Sechelt. We didn’t want anybody else making the product than our own people.” Today, three years after first appearing on Dragons’ Den, Holy Crap is still based in B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. The company employs 20 local people full time and leases five warehouses for manufacturing and storage. “We still do part of it by hand,” said Corin, a former senior flight attendant. Corin and Brian have since appeared on Dragons’ Den two more times. The couple now have a product line of four cereals sold in 2,500 stores ranging from Whole Foods and Overwaitea to Sobeys, Choices and other smaller independents. They are negotiating with U.S. distributors following a recent trial with the Kroger chain in Seattle, said Brian, a former television cameraman, executive producer and Dairy Queen franchisee. The couple are launching a single-serving cup at San Francisco’s Fancy Food Show this weekend.