Hudson company enters the Dragon’s Den Tutti Gourmet makes pitch to five multi-millionaires to expan
Brothers Jonah and Olivier Kachani face Dragons Jim Treliving and Michael Weckerle during the 40-minute taping.
They don’t call CBC’s hit TV show the Dragon’s Den for nothing. When entrepreneurs from throughout Canada walk in to the Toronto studios to make a pitch for support and financial investment from one or more of the five multi-millionaires on the panel, they had better have their act together. In terms of product, presentation and, perhaps most critical of all, the figures to back it up.
On Wednesday, February 18, at 8 p.m. one Hudson family and employees of their company will be watching it with very special interest. For even though they already know the outcome which - because of a confidentiality clause - they could not reveal to Your Local Journal this week, they just can’t wait to see how it all unfolds in front of millions of viewers from coast to coast.
That company is Tutti Gourmet, specializing in biscotti and gluten free products all created in its state-of-the-art kitchen on Cameron Road. First founded in 1999 selling over-the-counter in a small bakery shop on Harwood by Michael Kachani and his wife, Cara Berkovits, its products are currently distributed and sold in over 2000 outlets right across Canada.
“Ideally, we want to expand that to between 4000 and 5000 outlets as soon as possible,” Kachani told YLJ in an exclusive interview. “Which is why we tried to appear on Dragon’s Den back in 2013 when they held auditions in Montreal. Unfortunately, although the panel really appeared to like our products and business concept, we never got the call back.”
Undaunted, however, Kachani decided ‘cold turkey’ to make a second pitch at a Montreal audition in February last year. With, in his own words, an even better family-oriented presentation and with a new ‘wow’ product called Bana Krisp that is selling like hot cakes even though it has absolutely nothing in common with cake.
Brothers Jonah and Olivier Kachani
“This time we made it,” he said. No small achievement considering that every year over 4000 companies or entrepreneurs audition in major cities across Canada to be later whittled down to about 200, 70 or 80 of which will finally make it into the Dragon’s Den studio. “I have to be honest,” added Kachani.
“Our young sons, Oliver and Jonah, who were there with us in the studio really helped break the ice. In fact they were sitting on Arlene Dickinson’s lap for almost our full 40-minute presentation which is obviously later edited down to a few minutes on screen. But we had a ball and everyone seemed to be very happy with our presentation.”
Also in studio were two other very important members of the immediate Tutti Gourmet family both living in Hudson and with a specific role in the company. Namely Berkovits’ mother and father, Charlie and Jack. Said Kachani, “It truly was a family, and Hudson, affair. This is a town that we love.
We provide employment for 16 local residents. And hopefully more in the near future. Regardless of where the future leads as a result of our appearance on Dragon’s Den, we will always be here in Hudson. Who knows? Maybe one day, we may even the town’s biggest employer.”