Local Downtown Guelph eatery Crafty Ramen walked into the Dragons’ Den and emerged with the deal of a lifetime.
“It’s a dream come true,” said co-founder Jared Ferrall. “We’re all super excited and grateful for everybody that made this happen.”
The episode, which aired on CBC last night, showed Jared, co-founder Miki Ferrall and co-owner Khalil Khamis giving the Dragons a taste of their ramen for the first time.
They pitched their business with an ask of $600,000 for 6.5 per cent of the company, to help them become “the household name for ramen across North America.”
The company is valued at $9.2 million, however, Khamis said they’re not profitable today, losing about $70,000 a month for the past 12 months.
Still, some of the Dragons saw potential.
Vincenzo Guzzo made a joint offer with Michelle Romanow for $600,000 for 18.88 per cent of the company – more than three times over what they had asked for.
But the offer they went with was from Arlene Dickinson, for a $600,000 loan she can convert any time she wants to “today’s current price” – meaning she would own about 12 per cent of the company.
Dickinson said she had invested in a meal kit company before, and that she knows the path they’re on, referring to the meal kit subscription service Crafty Ramen has also launched in addition to its two bricks and mortar locations.
“Building a subscription business is expensive. None of the numbers you’re seeing are surprising to me. The meal kit company I invested in was doing about 2 million dollars when they came on this show, they’ll probably do about 65 million this year,” she said.
“It was great to have multiple offers. But Arlene was kind of our target, because she’s a giant in this space, the biggest food investor in Canada, knows marketing. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner,” Jared said. “We’re super grateful that she saw potential in us and was willing to come on board.”
So what’s next?
Jared said historically, few deals made on Dragons’ Den actually come to fruition.
“They tend to fizzle out, so we don’t know if it’s going to be finalized at all.”
But he said they’re thrilled to have made that connection with Dickinson.
“Even if she’s a supporter and a mentor, then I’d be happy to have a sit down with her and pick her brain for a half hour.”
Plus, the exposure from appearing on the show has already had an impact.
“We’ve had so many people repost or post about us,” he said, adding that their website has blown up, with around 6,000 hits before noon the day after the episode aired.