One of Yorkshire Housing’s customers was put to the test when he pitched his business ideas to hit BBC 2 show Dragons’ Den.
Rocky, a former chef, runs Mi’ Mam’s Food Company, a business which specialises in sweet and savoury Yorkshire Puddings and pies, based in Morley. He named the company in memory of his mother, who never forgave him for making better Yorkshire Puddings than she did.
Initially he produced fresh Yorkshire pudding batter for the catering trade and the retail sector. But demand soon increased when he worked in a community kitchen stall in Leeds, where he had lots of individual requests for pies with different fillings.
Through support from Yorkshire Housing’s employment and enterprise team Rocky began to build his business, offering an increasing varieties of pies and an extensive mail order delivery business. He also has a growing fan group on Facebook.
Yorkshire Housing enterprise coach, John Bolton, helped him to put together his business case for the programme. His pitch was to get enough financial support to convert his first coach into a mobile pie diner, selling them to Biker Festivals all over the country. His plan is to build up a fleet of pie-packed vehicles.
As a proud Yorkshireman, Rocky made his pitch to the fierce Dragons’ Den panel in his trademark white overalls and flat cap, to the tune of the New World Symphony (better known as the Hovis advert theme tune.)
He tempted them with his hot steak and Guinness pie, Christmas Day lunch pie and Cream Egg and custard pie.
Rocky Arkwright from Mi‘ Mam’s Food Company and Yorkshire Housing tenant, said:
“The Dragons’ Den show was such an interesting experience. But it was also quite nerve wracking.
“I had lots of really positive comments from the Dragons about my pies. Dragon Deborah Meaden liked the pastry in my steak and Guinness pie and asked lots of questions about my business.
“Afterwards I was really glad that I went along and gave it my best pitch. If I hadn’t gone, I would always have wondered what might have happened.”
Nicola Flett, employment and enterprise team leader, said:
“I’m really proud that Rocky has had a chance to pitch his business ideas to BBC 2’s Dragons’ Den. Yorkshire Housing’s enterprise and employment team helped him to develop his business in the early days, but it’s testament to his hard work that the business has grown so much and he has managed to pitch his ideas to Dragons’ Den.”
We will find out if Rocky’s pitch was successful on the show, which airs at 8pm, Sunday 13 January on BBC 2.
Find out more about Mi’ Mam’s Food
If you are a Yorkshire Housing Customer and would like help to start your own business, find out more here.