Durham entrepreneurs slay the Dragons

Durham entrepreneurs slay the Dragons

Durham entrepreneurs Liam Sherriff and Craig Newbigin entered the Dragons’ Den on Sunday night (27 Aug) and left with an offer of £100,000.

Liam, the founder of healthy supplements company Natural Nutrients, along with business development manager Craig, impressed four dragons as they pitched their products in front of millions on the TV show.

After hearing each of the dragons’ offers, the passionate duo accepted the offers made by Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani.

Peter Jones, who has been a dragon since the very first series, has invested over £4m on the show to date.

His investments have included Love da Popcorn (a low sugar popcorn brand), Bare Naked Foods (low-carb noodles) and perhaps most famously, Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce.

Tej Lalvani, the latest addition to the line-up, is CEO of Vitabiotics – the largest vitamin company in the UK.

Over the last 20 years Tej has grown the business into one of the leading nutrition companies in the world, with products sold in over 100 countries.

Sherriff said: “We applied for Dragon’s Den because we felt that impressing the Dragons could really strengthen our company and its long term potential.

“All the investors on the show have so much experience – and particularly with Tej being a leading figure in our sector – we felt that their contacts and expertise can really open up new opportunities”.

“Appearing on one of the biggest business shows on television does feel a bit daunting at first, but once you get there and go through the pre-interview stage and all the formalities, it’s very much business as usual and hopefully that comes across”.

Newbigin added: “There was more adrenaline than nerves to be honest, especially walking through the lift and seeing the Dragons all sat there for the first time, but despite this and all the crew and cameras to the side of the set, once we started talking about business we forgot that they were there, and Liam and I just got stuck in.”

Natural Nutrients, which is based on the Drum Industrial Estate in Chester-Le-Street, aims to provide customers with a completely clean, all-natural alternative to existing supplements on the market.

The company has developed a range of completely natural nutritional supplements to support customers’ healthy lifestyles.

Sherriff – who spent 6 years working as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant – established Natural Nutrients in 2013 after becoming frustrated with the lack of ‘clean’ supplements available to his clients.

The venture-backed company has already successfully launched several new to market products including vegan-friendly Faba Bean Protein Powder and the brand new Protein Popcorn, which will soon be seen in Holland & Barrett.

Sherriff concluded: “The last four years have seen Natural Nutrients grow from a little start-up side business run from my garage to a proper company with our own warehouse, team of expert nutritionists and a growing list of unique, healthy products that we ship across the UK and beyond.

“Being invited to take part in Dragon’s Den and coming away having ‘slayed’ the dragons is an incredible feeling and is testimony to the hard work we’ve all put in as a team and we’re really excited to see what the next few months will bring!”