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)

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

L.V. Rogers student Nicolaj Bucher plays the trumpet as part of five-piece jazz ensemble LVJ5. Unable to perform live, the group recorded an album instead. Photo: Tyler Harper
Unable to perform live, L.V. Rogers jazz group instead records debut album

LVJ5 has released Lockdown Fever on streaming services

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteers doused a hillside fire late Monday night, May 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue puts out hillside fire

No one was injured after a campfire got out of control below Columbia Drive

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

Faye Petersen (left) and Emma LeCouffe have set up a STEAM fair for J.V. Humphries’ students. Photo: Submitted
Kaslo students plan school-wide STEAM fair

Emma LeCouffe and Faye Petersen have organized the event at J.V. Humphries

Map: BCWildfire Service
UPDATE: Human-caused wildfire burning near Castlegar

The McCormick Creek fire started Sunday

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue’s Dave Paulett hoses down a section of a wooden retaining wall which caught fire Monday, May 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Fire starts in Grand Forks backyard after by oily rags left in sun

Flames put out before reaching home on 800-block of 72nd Avenue

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

Most Read