A pair of sisters who won major investment on Dragons' Den have opened a factory for the production of their gluten-free Chinese sauces.
Lisa and Helen Tse secured £50,000 from Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devey on the BBC2 programme in September 2012, and it has helped to ramp up production of their Sweet Mandarin brand. The company's sauces are already stocked in 500 Sainsbury's stores in the UK after landing national listings in November last year. It has been a whirlwind 12 months for the sisters who are now looking to get their product into the international market, with orders already in place to supply markets such as China, Russia, Switzerland and Germany.
Speaking to Foodmanufacture.co.uk, Helen Tse said: "Their [European market] appreciation and understanding of the free-from and coeliac market and gluten-free diets is very advanced and it’s a pleasure to work with them. In addition, Russia is a growing market that we supply to."
Sweet Mandarin comes in three different flavours - barbecue, sweet and sour and sweet chilli. The company stated that all the sauces are made without gluten, MSG and artificial colourings which has made them ideal for the Gluten Free market, while they are also vegan accredited. The recipes are closely kept family secret and have been handed down from generation to generation.
The news provider reported that the new factory will be able to run 60,000 bottles a week which helps to meet the substantial rise in demand that has come off the back of the success since the Tse sisters' Dragons' Den appearance. Two new members of staff have been taken on and another two are due to be appointed by the end of 2013.
It is yet another success story from the BBC2 programme; in 2007 musician Levi Roots pitched the idea of Reggae Reggae Sauce a Jamaican jerk spice which was taken on by 'dragon' Peter Jones. The condiment has had unparalleled success and now Roots' company currently holds a net worth of £30 million.