Did you know that you could Localize a Dragon slayer?
We didn’t either. Or at least not until we met these inspiring entrepreneurs who all have one major thing in common: they’ve struck deals on CBC’s popular show, Dragon’s Den.
Dragon’s Den is a reality show that features entrepreneurs pitching business ideas to a panel of five venture capitalists, better known as Dragons. The Dragons can either accept, negotiate or decline the entrepreneur’s deal. Among many rather imaginative ideas, such as a Ghostbuster-style gun for painting walls or a line of beach furniture made of cardboard (yes, these are both real things), there are a few inspired food products worth mentioning.
Here’s a list of five Localized food producers who managed to impress a Dragon (or five) when they appeared on Dragon’s Den.
A company located in Victoria, British Columbia, Rumble Supershake produces a line of nutritional, high protein shakes that, according to the Dragons, taste great! Their inspiration comes from their founder, Paul, who had a double-lung transplant due to a genetic lung disease that greatly restricted his way of life. Paul explained that he couldn’t find a product in the market that would enable him to live the active lifestyle he wanted, despite his illness. He figured if he felt this way, there must be others who feel the same.
Check out how Paul inspired a room of Dragons to join in his mission.
2. Nud Fud
Remember the days of producing your popular line of vegan energy snacks out of your dorm room? No? Well, that's exactly how Julia, a holistic nutritionist from Toronto, Ontario, introduced Nud Fud to the vegan food market. While in school, Julia explained that she would struggle with finding a quick and healthy vegan snack that would give her the energy she needed to get through a day of classes and dance practices. That’s why this young entrepreneur invented Nud Fud, a line of all-natural vegan snacks.
As Julia said to the Dragons, “food is better nude”. Now who can argue with that?
3. Holy Crap
Brian and Corin Mullins are a couple from Sechelt, British Columbia who were in search of a healthy breakfast option that would meet Brian’s food allergies and sensitivities as stated on their website. They started off small: producing Holy Crap out of their house and selling it at the local Sechelt Farmers Market.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why Holy Crap? Well, the original name was actually Hapi Food cereal but, after hearing, “holy crap, this is good” from farmers market shoppers, they decided to rebrand.
Due to the success Brian and Corin had on Dragon’s Den, their sales soared from roughly 100 orders a month to more than 2,000 orders a day! Holy Crap is right.
Cooking 101: heat the pan, add oil. Sisters Natasha and Elysia know that great food starts with oil. In fact, as owners of Three Farmers, they use this sentiment as the tagline for their family-run, Saskatchewan-based company. Colin, Dan, and Ron are third and second generation farmers who have been working the land since they took it over from their parents years ago. Since their youth, these three farmers have known the benefits of Camelina Oil—a nutty, earthy cooking oil—but didn’t know how to spread the word. It took the business skills of Natasha, the cooking skills of Red Seal Chef Elysia, and a little help from the Dragons to get this idea into kitchens across Canada.
5. Love Child
We can all agree that having a healthy, nutritious diet is an essential factor in leading a healthy life. Right? Come on, don’t be difficult.
When better to start healthy eating habits then as a baby? This is what Whistler, British Columbia based parents Leah and John believed when they had their first child, Poppy. John and Leah wanted something they could feed Poppy that was made without artificial additives and full of healthy nutrients.
Then, whether from a stork in the sky or an array of Leah’s delicious homemade recipes, Love Child was born. Leah and John (and Poppy) enjoyed Love Child food so much that they decided to share the love with the Dragons. Now Love Child can be found in every major retailer across the country.
There you have it! Five Localized Dragon slayers that have made a big impact in the Canadian food industry. I hope you enjoyed reading this on your cardboard furniture.
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