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Dragons' Den star 'spent hours being harshly grilled' before securing 'dream investment'

EXCLUSIVE: Dragons’ Den stars Sam and Charlie, owners of frozen food brand Stocked, took home their dream investment on the BBC series. They spoke to us of the “heavy grilling” they faced

Childhood friends Charlie Gilpin and Sam Moss, from Kent, are making serious moves in the frozen food business, and bravely stepped foot in the terrifying Dragons’ Den room eight months ago.

Credit: Stocked Foods/Righthand PR

Dragons’ Den: Meet the Stocked owners

Stocked owners Charlie and Sam, based in London, are hoping to change the frozen food game forever. They provide chef-cooked, award-winning meals to customers, which are frozen into portioned blocks.

Each pack of Stocked contains eight blocks, which is enough to make two to four meals, and offers flavours like chicken tinga, beef chilli, and curried chickpeas, to name a few of the delicious dinners.

It’s been eight months since the Stocked owners made their pitch in on the BBC show, which has been the hardest secret to keep! However, they told close friends and family, and braced themselves for demand.

BBC application to ‘heavy grilling’

Sam and Charlie’s brand was approached by the BBC to apply for Dragons’ Den. They told us, “We got an email one day, which looked suspicious, but then said yes and had so much paperwork in two days.”

They then joked how they filmed their pitch “40 times,” and when the day came, they had to wait around for three hours before “getting heavily grilled for two hours,” which was a “tough ride”.

The Stocked founders told Reality Titbit, “When we were in there, it was an intense two-hour authentic conversation. It was an experience seeing that cut down to a few minutes.”

“On reflection, the dragons are quite old school. Once they get their teeth into a flaw in your business model, they can start ripping it apart,” they added of the tough TV pitch.

During their pitch, the dragons found a “flaw”. “We just felt a little bit hard done by as we don’t know anyone with a margin of 70 percent. Despite that, we’re glad everyone loved it,” the Stocked owners said.

Where Stocked frozen meals are now

Dragons’ Den company Stocked went home with a £50,000 investment from Steven Bartlett, who received six percent of the business. They told us, “Steven has got a fantastic team who are really supportive.”

Sam and Charlie said: “We wanted to bring a dragon on to nail marketing and build our brand, and Steven is the perfect guy for that. Walking away with Steven Bartlett was more than we could dream of.”

They were at capacity in their cooking kitchen last year, and thanks to Steven’s investment along with their other investors, they’ve been able to expand to a kitchen twice the size!

As for their plans for the next few months, Stocked frozen meals are doing a fundraising round in summer, and are “expecting to accelerate forward, continue building our brand and expand our range.”

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