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Norfolk-based firm’s Dragons’ Den pitch named among best ever

PUBLISHED: 10:49 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:06 12 June 2020

Ross Mendham, managing director of Barenaked Foods, showing some of the company's products. Picture: Submitted

Ross Mendham, managing director of Barenaked Foods, showing some of the company's products. Picture: Submitted

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A Norfolk-based food firm specialising in low-carb products will feature once again on prime time television after its founder’s original Dragons’ Den pitch was selected among the best in the show’s history.

Ross Mendham first appeared on the hit BBC show in 2013, hoping he would find an investor for his business idea for a low-carb, versatile alternative to traditional pasta.

In the show, which has run since 2005, budding entrepreneurs try to impress a panel of business experts, nicknamed Dragons, in the hope that one or more of them will invest in their product or business idea.

This is what Mr Mendham managed to do seven years ago, when his pitch for Barenaked Foods convinced show stalwart Peter Jones to stump up £60,000 for half of the company.

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Now, seven years later, the BBC is running a new weekly series entitled Dragons’ Den Best Ever Pitches, narrated by popular comedian Joe Lycett.

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The series recalls some of the best and most memorable pitches made to the dragons in the show’s 15-year history, with Mr Mendham’s original appearance featured in the final instalment of the series’ six episodes.

He said: “Since I first featured on Dragons’ Den it’s been an emotional roller-coaster and, as with any business, it’s been challenging to get to the top.

“Even when you get investment, success is not guaranteed. But with the hard work and determination that I showed in the Den and together with Peter Jones’ team, we have managed to take Barenaked Foods to where it is today.”

The company, based just off the A47 in Damgate Lane, Acle, has gone from strength to strength since securing investment from Mr Jones, and now produces a range of low-carb, high-protein noodles and pasta products using the Asian konjac plant.

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Its products can be found on the shelves at major supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons as well as online via Amazon UK.

“It’s been a life changing experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity the BBC and producers of the show gave me. It changed my life.”

The episode featuring Mr Mendham’s original Dragons’ Den pitch will air on BBC Two at 8pm on Sunday, June 28, and will also be available on BBC iPlayer.


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