Sheffield businesswoman and entrepreneur Yee Kwan appeared on Dragon’s Den with her Asian inspired ice cream and sorbets last Sunday and was successful in achieving investment and support from business tycoon Deborah Meaden.
Yee approached the panel asking for a £50,000 investment in return for a stake in the business. Two of the dragons offered their support and Yee couldn’t resist Deborah’s proposal of the full investment in return for a 30% stake in the business.
Yee has been using The Source Skills Academy for apprenticeship recruitment since she was first approached by Dale Robinson in September 2013. With The Source’s help, she recruited Luke Kelly as a customer service apprentice. Luke completed his level 2 qualification in Customer Service and has now progressed to Level 3 alongside a promotion to Warehouse Manager. Yee also took on a second apprentice Harriet Dolphin who works as Business Administration Manager and has recently completed her Level 2 in Business Admin.
Whilst the company, which is based in Sheffield city centre, currently only employs 5 staff; this hasn’t stopped them achieving a turnover of over £100,000 last year and dreaming up over 20 high quality ice creams and sorbets inspired by Asian flavours.
Stockists already include Harvey Nichols, Wholefoods Market, Wing Yip Chinese Supermarket and over 200 food service customers and Yee particularly wants to break into Ocado and Waitrose, which Deborah Meaden, with her expertise and contacts in the food industry, will hopefully help them to achieve.
After striking the deal, Deborah Meaden gave high praise, saying “I’ve never sat [on the panel] and eaten my way through a whole tub of anything before”.
Speaking about her success, Yee said “Dale from The Source helped me secure my first apprentice Luke and I’ve since gone onto recruit two more. All the apprentices have helped me to grow my business and have played a part in my recent success. I hope they will both be a part of the future of my business as we take the next step towards our dream of becoming the leading brand of East Asian ice-cream”.