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Dragons' Den review: Success for Sheffield ice cream connoisseur

Yee Kwan Chan secured a £50,000 investment from Deborah Meaden - and we're delighted to see her business expanding.

Sunday’s episode of Dragons’ Den (15/02) saw Yee Kwan Chan, a familiar face to Make It Cheaper, secure an investment for her unique handcrafted ice cream business.

Yee Kwan, a Sheffield-based entrepreneur, has won many awards for her unusual flavour concoctions, including a Great Taste Award for her unusual Smokey Black Sesame Seed Ice Cream. In an effort to take her business to the next level, the ice cream connoisseur took her venture to the Dragons in search of a £50,000 investment.

The prospective investors were evidently impressed by Yee Kwan’s product – as well as her ambition and potential for success. With Kelly Hoppen and Deborah Meaden both vying for the chance to invest in Yee Kwan’s business, the entrepreneur eventually accepted Deborah’s offer – the full £50,000 in exchange for a 30% stake in her venture.

The mother-of-three said: “I love everything about the Far East, the people, amazing landscapes, different cultures and particularly the food.  I wanted to fuse the wonderful flavours I experienced on my travels to create an exciting range of ice cream and sorbets with unique flavours for everyone to enjoy”

With Kelly Hoppen and Deborah Meaden both vying for the chance to invest in Yee Kwan’s business, the entrepreneur eventually accepted Deborah’s offer.

Congratulating Yee Kwan on her blog, Deborah Meaden wrote:

“The ice cream comes from a really authentic place and that flows right through from the brand to the flavour and you can taste the love of travel and Yee's personal family history in each delicate and exquisite taste.

“Product is only half the story though and Yee's poise, clarity and passion came across in a well thought out and organised way and I quickly knew we would work well together.”

When it comes to investing, the Dragons rarely base their decisions simply on the potential to make money – they like to look for a spark in a person, which reflects their passion and desire to succeed. It appears that’s something that Deborah spotted in Yee Kwan, who now has the funding she needs to continue developing her business. 

Sorbet savvy

In addition to her individual potential and big plans for the future, the entrepreneur clearly has the business acumen that’s needed to build a profitable firm – including minimising her business’s essential running costs.

In the past, Make It Cheaper has helped Yee Kwan get a better deal for her insurance and energy – the latter of which should prove particularly beneficial, as her business’s electricity consumption is sure to increase as she sets about expanding her operations.

After seeing Yee Kwan on Dragons’ Den, Nick Heath from Make It Cheaper said: “It was great to turn on the TV and see Yee Kwan. We’ve helped Yee with her insurance and energy in the past, so we’re thrilled that she’s managed to secure the backing she needs to keep growing her business.  

“We’d like to wish Yee and Deborah all the best for the future. Running a business can take a lot of hard work and dedication, and it’s brilliant to see that Yee’s efforts are paying off.”

You can taste Yee’s out-of-this-world flavour combinations yourself by visiting one of the many stores and restuarants that stock her products, or find out more here.