For months, Kelly and Paul DeRocco had to stay quiet about what happened when they taped their appearance on the Dragons’ Den last spring.
On Thursday night, the owners of Fudge In A Round appeared on the popular CBC television show – and the secret was revealed.
And although the Sooke company failed to win over the investors, they earned praise from the often unimpressed Dragons.
“I think you’ve got a great business for yourself. You’ve got a great business in Sooke that is really important in helping your community and yourselves,” said Dragon Arlene Dickinson.
The idea for Fudge In A Round was born in 2008 when Kelly DeRocco bought some chocolate-coconut fudge and fell in love with the flavour.
A few months later, long after they’d returned to the Island and the fudge was long gone, she and Paul went in search of the same flavour, only to find that the local outlet of the store at which they’d bought their original fix of fudge didn’t sell the flavour there.
Not to be deterred, Kelly DeRocco asked Paul, who is the cook in the family, if he could make some at home, and he, ever game for a challenge, gave it a try.
After some experimentation, they came up with what they considered to be a superior version of the flavour and shared it with friends and co-workers. More flavours followed, and soon the couple was selling their fudge at the Sooke Christmas Fair, the Sidney Night Market, the Inner Harbour in Victoria and farmers’ markets.
The product is unique in part because the couple packages it in sealed round containers, and because the product is not dried out and cut into squares, it retains a soft, creamy texture and isn’t as sweet as its square-cut crystallized sugar counterparts.
“We’d love to see this go across Canada. We’re fudging around,” Kelly DeRocco told the Dragons.
The couple asked the Dragons for $60,000 for 47 per cent of the company. They need the money for a larger production facility and storefront.
The Dragons in considering the offer said the business was not big enough to consider for investment.
But it’s not deterring the DeRoccos.
“The fudge is not going to go down,” Kelly DeRocco said backstage.
“We’re going to fudge on,” added Paul.