In 2007, you may remember , Levi Roots appeared on Dragons Den (UK version) selling his Jamaican inspired spicy sauce. It was brilliant pitch , if you haven’t seen it or want a reminder, here is the song … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gWUkJ9DkE8
Of course that’s history, the guy went on to become a household name and sold loads and loads of sauces – he even has his own meals range and a huge range of different sauces including the one we have here, the Levi mayo!
Well we are big Dragons Den fans at The Cast Iron Air Brick Company and always tune it to see the latest “victims” or “entrepreneurs” so after a few years of starting the company we had an idea that would catapult sales – we’d go on the show. Pitch Britains finest cast iron ventilation and drainage castings to the formidable dragons and come away with a lovely investment, a key shareholder (Amanda wanted Peter Jones, Adrian was after Theo) and get loads of expert advice on how to take the company to the next level . We got off to a promising start and used Twitter to contact the key players on the show and hit the jackpot with Theo Paphitis who very kindly retweeted our company details to his massive number of followers and then one week picked us to be his company of the week. He did a promo for small business every Sunday and retweeted a select few to give them a boost. It was called SBS (small business Sunday) and his promotion of our tweets rocketed our followers from a few hundred to a few thousand almost over night. Gosh, if he can do this for our tweets, what could he do for our sales !?
Well that was in 2013 and to date, we’ve not approached Theo and not gone any further with our Dragons Den dream.
And here’s why …
The Cast Iron Air Brick Company doesn’t have any share holders, there’s no investors to answer to, no loans – just 2 people with a passion for restoration, creating unusual, period property building products and employing old fashioned British foundries to make them. Companies who have been making castings since the 1800s and have workers who are close to retirement who’ve been working at the foundry since they left school. Some of the products make a profit, some don’t, some are handmade and some we cut bespoke taking many hours to create just one grille that a customer wants to make a house look just like it did hundreds of years ago. Some of the castings we’ve invented have been huge successes and we sell hundreds of them, others, we’ve sold just a few but we keep making them regardless of the sales volumes. We couldn’t even think for one moment of turning our back on those brilliant foundries in England and Scotland who’ve made our grilles for all these years and switch production to China, it’s just not part of what we do, the bottom line for us isn’t profit .
And there lies the problem for an investor – why on earth would a dragon want to invest in a company like ours?