An update on Dragon’s Den contestant Allison Whitmarsh…

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Millions saw former dinner lady Allison Whitmarsh appear on Dragon’s Den in a BBC2 Christmas Special to try to get investment for her home made cake making business… so what happened next? Dragon's Den catch up with entrepreneur Allison Whitmarsh

BBC Dragon Deborah Meaden, who famously admitted to not having cooked a meal for herself in 28 years, put the icing on the cake for Yorkshire-based cake maker ProperMaid when she invested £50,000 in the award winning business in return for a 25% stake.

ProperMaid’s ‘traditional cakes with a twist’ so intrigued the TV Dragons that two of them ended up battling over the investment before business owner and former dinner lady Allison Whitmarsh chose to accept Deborah’s offer of investment. Star of the tense, televised pitch was ProperMaid’s delicious and highly unusual Christmas Dinner Cake, which contains all the trimmings (minus the turkey!) including carrots, parsnips, cranberries, Christmas spices, chestnuts – and even sprouts!

Speaking about the investment Deborah said: “this is the next stage in the massive revival of great British baking and Allison is a tremendous example of how entrepreneurs with great ideas, excellent products, a sound business model and the passion and drive to succeed can quickly make a difference in business, as well as in their local communities. Together we’ll achieve great things for ProperMaid and the team is already working on a slimming cake to help shed those post-Xmas pounds – I’d imagine everyone will want a slice of that!” she said.

Based in Huddersfield, ProperMaid was founded by former dinner lady Allison Whitmarsh, who built the business with the help of a local Business Mine initiative. Allison and her creative team have made a name for themselves with their out-of-the-ordinary home baked cakes and loaves. Flavours have included Courgette & Lime, Beetroot & Chocolate, Liquorice, Dandelion & Burdock (which won a Gold Star at the 2012 Great Taste Awards) and Chocolate Chilli & Fudge, made with real chillies.

Allison said, “I couldn’t have dreamt four years ago when I baked my first cake for a customer in my home kitchen that in 2012 I’d have two Dragons vying to invest in my business! I’m extremely proud of our brand and everyone in the ProperMaid team for helping to make this possible.” “ProperMaid has come a long way in a relatively short period of time and with Deborah on board who knows how high our cakes will rise!”

ProperMaid is the 33rd investment Deborah Meaden has made through Dragons’ Den during the seven series in which she has appeared to date, with her ‘Den’ investments totalling £2million.

PR by Absolutely Food PR & Marketing

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About Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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