En­tre­pre­neur has a change of heart af­ter tam­ing Dragon

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page - BBC

A SUR­REY en­tre­pre­neur was given the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time when she was handed a lu­cra­tive deal from tele­vi­sion Dragon Deb­o­rah Meaden for her su­per­food health snack busi­ness.

Ju­lianne Po­nan, 28, from Wal­ton, the founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cre­ative Na­ture, ap­peared on Sun­day night’s Drag­ons’ Den gain­ing an in­vest­ment of £75,000 in re­turn for 25% eq­uity.

She at­tended the Den with op­er­a­tions man­ager Matt Ford and the busi­ness of­fer in­cluded an op­tion to buy back 5% and re­duce the eq­uity stake to 20% for the East Mole­sey-based busi­ness.

How­ever, af­ter ini­tially ac­cept­ing the trans­ac­tion in the Den, new cir­cum­stances have led Ms Po­nan to de­cline the busi­ness of­fer for her protein snack bars and al­ler­gen free muf­fin and brownie mixes.

She said: “Be­ing in the Den was an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. It was amaz­ing to meet Deb­o­rah and have her want to in­vest in Cre­ative Na­ture. I’m sure we would have ben­e­fited from Deb­o­rah’s ex­per­tise and I would have loved to have worked with her.

“How­ever, since film­ing the show, I have se­cured even more con­tracts di­rectly with ma­jor su­per­mar­kets by my­self and have de­cided that the in­vest­ment deal of­fered wasn’t the best cur­rent route for my busi­ness.

“Deb­o­rah was very un­der­stand­ing when I ex­plained why I had de­cided not to take the deal and wished me well for the fu­ture.”

Dur­ing last week­end’s pro­gramme, the Drag­ons sam­pled two of the su­per­food protein bars plus a chia and ca­cao brownie and a chia and mul­berry muf­fin, both of which are gluten, nut and dairy free.

Just two months ago, Cre­ative Na­ture was named Re­tail Busi­ness of the Year at the Toast of Sur­rey Busi­ness Awards 2017.

Gra­hame Larter, SA171493

Justin Row­lands, of Ikon­s­menswear Ben Darn­ton, of Ben’s Col­lec­tors Records Stephen Sut­ton, of Cry for the Moon

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