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

Agassiz Community Health Centre welcomes its newest doctor

Nikki Cohen is one of three doctors practicing at the local health clinic

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Life rings, signs to improve safety on Harrison waterfront

Harrison council approved $125,000 in aquatic safety projects for the beach

PHOTOS: Harrison students take on the Bunny Run

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary students dressed up for the Easter event

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read