Gluten-free baker secures £75k Dragons’ Den investment

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

B-Temped secured a £75k investment on the latest episode of Dragons’ Den
B-Temped secured a £75k investment on the latest episode of Dragons’ Den

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Dragons’ Den investors have pledged to invest £75,000 in gluten-free bakery B-Tempted in the latest episode of the BBC TV show, broadcast on Sunday (October 15).

B-Tempted founder Sarah Hilleary convinced entrepreneur Tej Lalvani to invest the money in return for 40% of the company – eight times higher than her initial offer of a 5% stake in the business.

The money would be used to help grow the business and launch its range of cakes in Tesco Express stores nationwide.

Hilleary retained the option to buy back 10% of the dragon’s holding if the company met sales targets for the next two years.

Gluten-free chocolate brownies

Lalvani – owner of one of the UK’s largest vitamin companies, Vitabiotics – offered the investment after being impressed by B-Tempted’s listings in a number of retailers and the taste of its gluten-free chocolate brownies.

Commenting on her experience in the den, Hilleary said: “To say the experience was daunting would be an understatement, but at the same time it is something that I have always wanted to do.

“While we spent a lot of time preparing for it, it was overwhelming to walk out of the lift and see five hugely successful iconic entrepreneurs in front of me.”

While her pitch didn’t win all of the dragons over, Hilleary said she had received great feedback from the assembled entrepreneurs and felt B-Tempted had left its mark on them.

‘I have so much respect for him’

She added: “I was thrilled to have walked away with an offer from Tej. I have so much respect for him – he is a great Dragon. As the ceo of Vitabiotics with a combined group revenue of more than £300M, he certainly knows how to grow a fast-moving consumer goods business.”

Established in 2009, B-Tempted produces a range of nine gluten-free cakes, which are supplied to retailers Harrods, Selfridges, Whole Foods Market and Fortnum & Mason. 

Dragons’ Den​ was broadcast Sunday night at 9pm on BBC Two. The hit TV show – which launched the career of Reggae, Reggae Sauce millionaire Levi Roots – is now in its 15th​ season.

Meanwhile, last year dragons fought to invest in coconut entrepreneur Jacob Thundil,​ after he showcased his Cocofina brand. Thundil secured a £75k investment from entrepreneurs Nick Jenkins and Sarah Willingham for 20% of the business.  

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