Dragon’s Den held auditions on Vancouver Island for its twelfth season on March 10 at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour. (Photo courtesy Dragon’s Den)

B.C.’s FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

The Victoria company will be featured on the Sept. 27 episode of the popular show highlighting Canadian businesses

As B.C. resident Jill Van Gyn walked towards the filming room, where she and her FATSO peanut butter would stand before the Dragon’s Den judges, Van Gyn thought she was going to throw up.

“I’m always over prepared and I’m always terrified before I go in, but the moment I start to do it, it becomes super easy,” Van Gyn said of her Dragon’s Den experience.

The born-and-bred Victoria woman said she originally decided to audition for the show because she loves a good challenge.

READ MORE: Dragon’s Den looking for fire in Victoria

“I thrive in those environments, the challenge of auditions and being in front of people where the wrong word could have a huge impact. I enjoy that kind of pressure, so when I heard Dragon’s Den was coming to Victoria, I thought it would be something I wanted to do,” Van Gyn said.

After the audition, Van Gyn was then selected to fly to Toronto to film her segment. Then she only had a one-in-three shot of her episode actually being aired, making the price of flights and time away from her business a risk. But it’s paid off: FATSO peanut butter will be featured in the Sept. 27 episode.

Van Gyn began watching Dragon’s Den more after starting her own company. She’d study how other food entrepreneurs pitched their product and how they were evaluated.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Arlene Dickinson,” Van Gyn said. “She’s really been able to be a strong voice in a sea of men in business.”

While she can’t reveal what happened when she met the Dragons — despite many people asking if she got a deal — Van Gyn said she’s most looking forward to seeing FATSO become a recognized brand across Canada.

“It’s scary because there’s no way to quantify what happens after you get on a show like this. Are my sales going to go up? Is this going to sink me? I don’t know,” Van Gyn said. “These are all unknowns.”

RELATED: FATSO pulls product from company accused of ‘fat shaming’

FATSO peanut butter began in Nov. 2016, and in two short years, Van Gyn has brought it from Victoria to Vancouver, and now it’s sold as far away as P.E.I. The CEO credits the local support from her fellow Victorians as helping her achieve her success.

“We have people who have really dedicated their lives to making Victoria an amazing food city, and the fact we have people who are dedicated to buying local has really held up a lot of these companies,” she said. “The support I’ve enjoyed in Victoria has been fundamental in bringing FATSO into a national brand.”

Her appearance on Dragon’s Den will air on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Van Gyn will be watching herself with friends and family from a private screening (complete with FATSO snacks, of course) at the Victoria Whole Foods store.

READ MORE: Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Regional unemployment rate drops

But fewer people are working overall

Horizon North construction to start soon

The first gear will start rolling into Kitimat at the beginning of 2019

Haisla yet to sign LNG benefits deals with the province

Other First Nations already receiving cash payments

Area First Nations benefit from LNG Canada project

Agreements with province provide cash, land

Work begins on a new Haisla health centre

It will include a telehealth room, a place for visiting physiotherapists and dentists

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Most Read