Jill Van Gyn, FATSO peanut butter owner, took her Victoria-based company to the Dragons’ Den in 2018. (FATSO peanut butter photo)

B.C.’s FATSO peanut butter takes off 1 month after Dragons’ Den deal

Owner talks about the immediate spike in her peanut butter business

Jill Van Gyn was getting ready for FATSO peanut butter’s screening party of Dragons’ Den when she got the first email.

It was only 5:15 p.m. in Victoria, but the Sept. 27 episode featuring the all-natural peanut butter spread had already started playing on the East Coast of Canada — and suppliers were interested immediately.

“I was really lucky. Just before the episode aired I had hired a staff member, a recent grad from the Royal Roads business school. The timing couldn’t have been better,” Van Gyn, previously the only employee of her company, said.

READ MORE: Victoria’s Jill Van Gyn of FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

They got to work instantly, responding to emails and the spike in their online account, adding 20 new retailers across Canada.

“The biggest thing coming out of it has been the lift of the company profile. People are a lot more familiar with the brand, which really was the ultimate goal of going on television,” Van Gyn said.

In the episode, Van Gyn persuaded four dragons to offer a deal with her. She was holding out for Arlene Dickinson, who is known for her experience as a woman in business and for helping new businesses build themselves up. The 30 per cent offer in shares of Van Gyn’s company was just too much.

Although she made a handshake deal on the show, Van Gyn later met to formalize the deal with new numbers. FATSO peanut butter has been evaluated at twice its original amount, and Van Gyn wanted the deal to reflect that. She ultimately walked away. Partnerships still formed, now with local investors offering more money and more support.

“It really worked out well for us,” Van Gyn said.

Now a month later, Van Gyn hasn’t slowed down. As of Oct. 25, FATSO peanut butter will be funded for the next year. In December, FATSO will begin working with a national distributor. In 2022, Van Gyn has plans to spread her business south of the border.

“We’re certainly growing faster than we ever expected, and whenever we think things are going to slow down something else blows up,” she said.

READ MORE: Very Good Butchers to appear on Dragons’ Den


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read