How Dragon’s Den changed the fortunes of Granny Cool marmalade

Ginger curd, lime curd and lemon curd

Ginger curd, lime curd and lemon curd - Credit: Archant

Nikki Frith and Lindsey Oldroyd entered the Dragon’s Den lair and survived. Emma Mayoh reports

Nikki Frith and Lindsey Oldroyd enjoy some Lemon curd on crusty bread

Nikki Frith and Lindsey Oldroyd enjoy some Lemon curd on crusty bread - Credit: Archant

Nikki Frith and Lindsey Oldroyd know how to see the silver lining. They were given a dressing down by the judges on Dragon’s Den when they were pitching for £50,000 financial help for their preserves company, Granny Cool. But instead of being devastated, they turned it into a positive and boosted their business.

Nikki, 36, who lives in Ramsbottom, said: ‘They had approached us because we had gone from zero to 80 stockists in six months. But they told us our branding was rubbish. It was a bit of a shock. Things had been going really well and that was the last thing we expected.

‘But they were right. If we hadn’t changed things it would have limited us. There were of course a few hours where we felt disappointed with what happened but then we did something about it. It was a brilliant experience and we are so much better off for going on. It was one of the most positive things we have ever done.’

Since appearing on the popular BBC programme, they have wasted no time in heeding the Dragons’ advice. They rebranded Granny Marmalade, the previous name, into Granny Cool and their curds and marmalades have been in more demand than ever.

Nikki Frith and Lindsey Oldroyd

Nikki Frith and Lindsey Oldroyd - Credit: Archant

As well as supplying dozens of retailers in the UK including Booths, Granny Cool is also now sold in luxury store Dean and Deluca in Kuwait as well as stores in New York and Helsinki. This month Granny Cool will also start being stocked at Selfridges flagship store in Oxford Street. There are also plans for the preserves to be sold in Dubai.

Lindsey, 38, said: ‘We are so happy with how well things have been going. We have set ourselves targets over the years. One of the first was being stocked in Booths, another was Selfridges and we’ve done it.

‘We want to become more international now and that is starting to happen. We need to go to some international trade shows to become bigger. We want Granny Cool to be a recognisable brand of quality. That’s our ultimate aim.’

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Nikki first launched Granny Marmalade, named after her husband’s grandma Marjorie Richardson, in 2011 at Ramsbottom Farmers’ Market. It was a few months later that former HR manager and swimming teacher, Lindsey, joined the company.

Now they use some of 88-year-old Marjorie’s old recipes and other new flavours. The pair first started producing the Granny Cool preserves in their kitchens in Ramsbottom and Tottington. But they are now made in Garstang where there is the capacity to produce larger quantities than were feasible in the family kitchen.

In just a few years Granny Cool has gone from a small, local business to an international product. Nikki and Lindsey want to build on that but they are keeping their feet on the ground. Despite the huge success, the original Granny Marmalade, Marjorie, still brings Nikki a pot of marmalade every week.

Nikki said: ‘I absolutely love that she still does it. She is such a fantastic lady. When we asked her for a picture for us to use on the jars, she sent us one from when she was a young woman. I love that.

‘She has always given her preserves out to family and friends. I’m glad she still does it. I’m really pleased to be using her recipes for Granny Cool and she is really pleased for us. I’m so excited to see where the business takes us.’

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