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)

Victoria’s Jill Van Gyn of FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

The company will be featured on the Sept. 27 episode of the popular show highlighting Canadian businesses

As 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 Victorian 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

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

One-man Frankenstein show coming to Craigdarroch Castle

The Halloween special will kick off at the beginning of October

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read