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

Wet’suwet’en clan launches civil lawsuit against Coastal GasLink

Gidimt’en seeking damages and costs over destruction of logging road encampment and gate

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

Most Read