Yee Kwan: Dragon Slayer
Sheffield mum and ice cream entrepreneur Yee Kwan entered the Dragon’s Den – and walked away with a cool £50,000 investment.
Yee, who’s singlehandedly built the YeeKwan Honest Handcrafted Ice Cream and Sorbet brand, had two of the dragons competing for a piece of her icy pie – Kelly Hoppen and Deborah Meaden – ultimately accepting Deborah’s offer of a 30% stake in the blossoming business following an enthusiastic and confident pitch.
Speaking of her victory, the former surveyor said: “I was nervous, but confident in the potential of my business, and knew it would be an attractive investment proposition – I just made sure I was completely prepared and stayed calm. The company was healthy, turning over £100,000, had a growing customer base and was winning industry awards – but to fulfil our plans, and be able to increase production, we needed not only investment, but the expertise and exposure that the Dragons could provide. I liked Kelly's design background but, with Deborah, she has the whole package – with experience in the area I'm after. In the end it was no contest – now we're looking to get it it into restaurant chains and large retailers. Watch this space.”
Yee’s product comes in a variety of unfamiliar and unique flavours – including Lychee & Rose Sorbet, Green Tea and Black Sesame Seed – drawing inspiration from the East Asian culture. The flavours have earned their share of recognition; with the brand being sold in Harvey Nichols, Wholefoods Market and other restaurants throughout the UK (not to mention a special one for the last Exposed awards.)
Her appearance followed that of fellow Yorkshire business Approved Food who failed to gain investment from the dragons – but who’ve since gained more than twice the investment they needed from local investors.
Head to www.yeekwan.co.uk for more.
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