The Dragons’ Question If Gourmet Popcorn Owner Is Really Passionate | Dragons’ Den IRL

Foreign Ty based in Navan County meath Nicola McGraw is originally from Dublin while Her husband Joe hails from Newfoundland In Canada The couple's professional life has been Mainly spent in the entertainment Industry and the product they're Pitching could well find a natural home In the nation's Cinemas Hello dragons my name is Joe McGraw and This is my wife Nicola and we're here Today asking for 75 000 Euros for 20 Equity in our company JD's Gourmet Popcorn JD's gourmet popcorn was essentially Born from a necessity after I lost my Last business to the recession In May 2011 we rented a small premises In dunshaughlin county meath and there In that premises I went on to make up The 27 different handmade flavors of Gourmet popcorn Nicola and I would then travel around to Farmers markets fairs festivals and Seller products at nine months of age JD's gourmet popcorn was shortlisted for A national food and drink award for Startups of course that led to us Naturally thinking mass production Two big problems of course with us Mass Producing any product was of course Money and no Factory But one Sunday morning I had a chance

Meeting with a manufacturer he offered To loan us the initial startup cost in Order of becoming our contract Manufacturer as of September 2013 Nikola And I received our first two Mass-produced products which of course Are are chocolate marshmallow popcorn And our nacho cheese flavored popcorn Now before we take any of your questions I'd love to offer you a sample of our Product Much of Joe's previous career as an Actor playwright and director was in the Area of hard-hitting educational youth Drama not a natural training ground for Life as a popcorn seller Joe Nicholas I'm Peter hi Peter So what got you into thinking about Popcorn when I mentioned this idea to a Friend of mine About four three years ago I guess four Years ago he said to me well when you And I first met in 2002 I asked you was There anything Um working or happening in Canada that Wasn't that wasn't being sold or made Here and I said yeah gourmet popcorn and I was thinking good maybe I should uh Add a bit of flavor like we say we're Actually doing popcorn flavor Hi Joe hi Nicola I'm Barry hi so Joe you Talked about your previous business uh What was it what happened uh talk about That please to make the long story short

Uh for seven years here in Ireland I was Working as a sole Trader in the school System whereas I would um say ready to Play first off on say um HIV and AIDS Sex ed bullying suicide mental health Issues go to a and Then it becomes sort of a I love Coaching session or discussion with the Students based on that play and then in 2009 what went from a lot of phone calls Ended up to two phone calls Necessity is the mother of invention but The dense food industry expert is Clearly wondering about the financial Potential of the product Joe has created Hi Joe Nicholas hi I'm Eamon Um if I look at the popcorn Market I see That there's a there's a sort of a Healthy aspect to Pure popcorn which Gets quite a good press really from from Nutritionists and it's it's low fat and All the rest of it there's a the other Market is the more indulgent luxurious Market which I'm guessing is this is a Smaller Market which which you're Targeting well what's your perception of The size of both those markets and the Trends within that well right now the of Course the the big trend is people are Looking for a healthier snacks you know Um in particular you know whole grain Snacks and and that sort our our popcorn Sort of is in the middle it's it's not Your extreme um a health food product

But it's not it's not on the other side Of extreme Indulgence either Um many stores are you in we're in I Think six Super values and then just Local shops in the meat area how many in Total I'd say we're in about uh right now About 18 in total to date Um can you let me know how many you've Sold well you got it in September so We're we've only sold about 300 boxes Because it was sort of as we quickly Realized a tough time of the year to to Get listed in any shops uh with the cut Off point for coming up to Christmas and And so on what Revenue did that bring in The 300 bucks is just Um but 679 Euros in regards to our Profit so just tell me the price of the Product today so we're we're buying the Product a case of 12 bags for six euros 30 and we're selling it for to the shops For 10.54 so that's a 40 gross merge an Orp per bag one six nine great Sales may not be huge so far but the Dragons will be looking at Future Potential Gavin Duffy is wondering about How to get the cobble's product out There hi Joe Nicolette my name's Gavin Hi Gavin have you talked at any stage to The established snacks entrepreneur in County made well I'm glad you mentioned That because that established snacks Entrepreneur in me that's actually

Producing our product for us Ray Coyle of Largo Foods surely he would Have said to you that you know you you Need to get your act together as regards Distribution I certainly spoke to to uh To Ray about that and we do have that Option to join their distribution system Okay but there's there's a big food Distributor in Ashburn County meath not That far from you have you spoken to Them no because we only we only got our Product in September so we certainly met The the big buyers six months more than Six months ago Yeah in September but our Focus you know Because it was all new to us we you know We got our product we were excited about It you know to get through that Development so you've got your product You were very excessive so we started Image at home and you looked at it no no No that's that's not true that's that's Not true at all we we actually Um got our product listed immately in in Local supermarkets and and I met with or Either met with or spoke to uh buyers of The big companies Their popcorn may be tasty but Barry O'Sullivan is clearly wondering if Joe Has a real hunger for the business let's Say the phone started ringing again from The schools What choice would you make you know what You realize over time as as an as an

Artist that there becomes this sort of This insular thinking in regards to it's All about your art and everything else External it doesn't matter it's all About the art and getting the message Across it was fantastic it was absolute And I got I'm you know I'm my stomach is Is you know every time I talk about the Passion for that it's you know it was Amazing you look taller now that you're Talking about it you've just kind of Risen up it's amazing yeah and you know It was amazing it was absolutely amazing And I and you know every now and again I Get an email I get a phone call from an Old school but you just can't do it you Just can't do it anymore because you Know at the end of the day Barry My mental health well it was much more Important than You know Um convincing myself that So what choice would you make This is my passion you know why because That that Um that theater career I didn't have kids who relied on me [Music] Joe is an emotional man who has Obviously had a tough few years Something Barry is quick to recognize And respect Joe and Nicola I'm a great Believer in karma and you know kind of If you give before you get good things

Will happen And you know you can do good And do well And I hope you do very well but I can't Help you so I'm out thank you very much I want to commend you I mean I think It's lovely I would buy it if I if I was In my local supermarket it'd be Definitely something that I would Purchase I feel I can't bring anything To the table apart from the money in Terms of what you want to do and where You want to progress with the product Um and for that reason I'm going to Declare myself out but I want to wish You both the very very best of luck Thank you very much Joe Nicola um You know I know I know a fair bit about The about the business it's not Something I think I could add a huge Amount of value in terms of scaling Because I think it is more Niche and That basis I'm out thank you It's the dragon's Investments were ruled Solely by their hearts you feel Joe and Nicola would be in the midst of a Bidding war it seems as though Peter Casey's heart is definitely in conflict With his head I'll tell you where I'm at I invest in People and you're both fantastic I love Your passion I would go half if you Could convince Mr Duffy here to come in

But he'd probably want to do it all Himself because he loved the popcorn so Much you know Hi Peter hello Gavin Gavin being a Mentor is something that we badly need If we could just we could pick your Brains we believe we could get our Product out there As creative people what thoughts do you Have about marketing your popcorn Well We'd like to think our overall brand or Overall philosophy is a you know a Family who worked hard and brought Something that's unique to the Marketplace but more importantly we have That passion to to promote that product In in our unique way unique flavors in The marketplace in a growing Market And a passionate story behind it And so not for the first time and Probably not for the last it all comes Down to one man Peter thanks for your your kind offer I Feel it's bad turning down Peter as I am Turning down you but I just Can't get my mojo for for this Particular sector Um so I'm going to clear myself out I would strongly encourage you to put a Line in the Sand I'm going to go back to What I'm really caring about and love About And unfortunately I might okay thank you very much

Well done guys keep going keep going so Joe and Nicola leave The Den with hands Empty but heads held high so you do have To say I mean the lovely people but then You know it's going to be a lovely Business [Music]

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