The investment was secured on the fifteenth series of BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den, which aired on 24 September 2017.
Adelle Smith launched BKD from her kitchen in Shoreditch, London, in May 2015, after reigniting her passion for baking when making her son’s first birthday cake. Since then, the business has grown rapidly, with revenues of £151,000 in 2017 and over 30,000 units being sold.
The brand’s products are now stocked throughout the UK and Ireland in retailers including John Lewis, Moonpig, Gousto and Arnotts.
The winning pitch focused on BKD’s line of Mini Bakers Club subscription kits (available for three or six months) for children aged 3-8 years.
The popular subscription kits are available through the BKD website and each month, the mini baker will receive a personalised box through their door containing a themed baking and craft activity.
Each box is handcrafted in BKD’s London bakery using quality, pre-measured ingredients, with themes covering an array of STEAM based subjects, such as Minibeast Adventures, Exploring the Senses and a Trip to the Big Top.
Smith pitched to the five dragons, including new investors Jenny Campbell and Tej Lalvani, asking for £80,000 in return for 20 per cent equity in the business.
Peter Jones CBE and Jenny Campbell were both interested and offered the full amount in return for 35 per cent and 30 per cent equity stakes, respectively.
Smith opted for Jones’ higher 35 per cent offer due to the investments he has made in several food businesses, including Levi Roots, and for his connections with key UK retailers including Sainsbury’s.
“I’m absolutely delighted with my investment in Adelle and her company BKD,” says Jones. “I’m sure that both she and the business will benefit from the explosion in interest in the baking category over the last few years. I’ve already tried out the kits with my own family and we had great fun sharing the experience so I’m confident about the company’s future.”
Smith adds, “I’m absolutely ecstatic to have Peter on board – the investment will allow us to massively escalate our growth. We plan to continue expanding within the UK and Ireland via direct customer sales, retailers and supermarkets, as well as looking into European export opportunities.
“BKD has had a lot of interest from countries all over the world,” she continues. “We also intend to spend the investment on digital marketing, PR, website and technology improvements and extra machinery.”