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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Marlene King and her granddaughter KK with the bench she installed in memory of her late husband, artist Marven Tallio (Caitlin Thompson photo).
New downtown bench honours late Nuxalk artist

Renowned Nuxalk artist Marven Tallio passed away in 2018

BC Liberal Party candidate for the North Coast Roy Jones Jr. will hold virtual face-to-face meetings for North Coast communities on Oct. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
BC Liberal Candidate Roy Jones Jr, will meet constituents virtually

Face to face conversations will be held on Oct. 18 for North Coast communities

The rockslide occurred just east of Firvale before Snowshoe Creek (photo submitted)
Heavy rain causes mud, debris on Highway 20

Environment Canada had issued a rainfall warning on Thursday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Most Read