Dragons’ Den pitcher rejects offer for £40,000 – now she’s on track to make £5m

Despite turning down an offer from BBC Dragons’ Den investor Tej Lalvani, one pitcher’s business has gone from strength to strength and is on track to generate over £5million in the next two years.

Rachel Kettlewell entered the Den in 2020 and secured investment for her jam business Fearne & Rosie.

Launched in 2019, the business is on a mission to provide healthier jam alternatives to families across the UK.

Although leaving the Den with an investment offer, Ms Kettlewell decided against an offer of £40,000 for 35 percent of the business from Tej.

When explaining why she rejected the offer, she told Express: “Fearne & Rosie was so tiny then; it was right at the beginning.

READ MORE: Sisters launch business with £150 – now they’re making £120,000 a year

“On reflection, it wasn’t the monetary investment that I needed at that point…What I needed at that time was time, mentorship and support to teach me how to run a business.”

Since her pitch, the healthier jam business has struck chords with both retailers and consumers. It has grown +400 percent in the past 12 months and is on track to hit £5 million turnover by 2025.

Even though she parted ways with the Dragons, she still gets regular messages and meets new customers who say they saw, followed, and bought from Fearne & Rosie because of Dragons’ Den.

She added: “I’m always so grateful that we got to be a small part in such an incredible show.”

Upon reflection, she realised that £40,000 was not enough for her to grow the business in the way she wanted.

Although Dragons Deborah Meaden and Sara Davies could not invest, “they were so supportive” of Rachel’s product and helped her grow with their advice.

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A couple of years later, the business has just secured £450,000 investment via a number of key investors, including TwinklHive, the investment arm of global educational publisher, Twinkl.

Ms Kettlewell aims to use the investment to broaden her retail distribution. Consumers still do their weekly shopping in supermarkets, so that’s where the jams need to be she said.

She continued: “As a business, we’re committed to ‘spreading goodness’, and my ultimate aim is to build a targeted school support programme.

“I wholeheartedly believe education is key, and that’s why Fearne & Rosie is dedicated to providing resources for schools and wider families on how to make easier, healthier choices.

‌“That’s why the investment and support from TwinklHive is so exciting. We’re already making headway on this through our wonderful partnership with BBC Children in Need.”

Fearne & Rosie Strawberry Jam is one of the fastest-growing jam SKUs on Ocado, and the jams can also be found in Waitrose, with recent listings secured in Amazon, Booths and select Morrisons stores.

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