The business moguls on Dragons Den are rarely brought to tears, but one pitch was so powerful that they couldn’t help but weep, as did the candidate.
Derry Green stepped into the den with a straightforward plan: convert a locked deck into a £4 million luxury glamping resort in Skelmersdale, Lancashire.
He immediately impressed with a great proposal, requesting £100,000 in exchange for a 5% ownership in Secret Garden Glamping, which has already received accolades.
The idea arose after a night of camping with his children in 2020 and gradually evolved into a proposal to create their own campground in their garden to make lockdown more ‘fun’.
Derry filmed his voyage on social media, and it went viral, with individuals approaching him and requesting to book the site – so he made it public, and it has been fully booked ever since.
The solid business plan won over the Dragons, but it was Derry’s commitment to his basic ideals and just being a terrific father that wowed the investors.
‘Derry this is outstanding, I love this, look I’ve actually gone quite clammy,’ laughed Peter, who was on-board from the start and ready to put in an offer.
Deborah Meaden, an expert in the hotel industry, delved deeper when she questioned about his pricing variations over the last year.
‘So I don’t actually do that at the moment,’ Derry explained, gaining a disappointed tut and confusion from his possible investors.
He continued: ‘The reason being, I set this up for me and my children and it’s always grated on me that people try and capitalise on when children are off school. So my rate is flat across the whole year.’
Derry indicated that nightly rates will be £245 per night in 2024, which Sara Davies pointed out was significantly lower than he could charge, but the father insisted on his selections.
‘Absolutely, [he could charge more] but that just didn’t sit right with me,’ he clarified.
Icon Deborah at this point – seeing the approval from her fellow Dragons – offered exactly what Derry had asked for and added: ‘I think you’re great.’
‘[Hospitality] feels like an industry that gets dragged kicking and screaming,’ she laughed after saying he had ‘fresh eyes’ – then her offer was matched by all subsequent dragons bar one, Steven Bartlett.
Instead, Steven told a visibly overwhelmed Derry: ‘I feel really proud of you for some reason because you’re such a decent bloke and for you to have created something so wonderful from such an authentic story of trying to provide something for your children.
— Tellylassie (@ScutcherM) January 11, 2024
No because now I’m crying?!? #dragonsden I’m so happy for him
— (@rithereddevil) January 11, 2024
— Andrew Jazzie (@AndrewJazzie) January 11, 2024
Have been working with Derry for the last 15 months, worked with him on his pitch and have been keeping this a secret all this time. So excited it’s now out the bag! #dragonsden
— Nikki Hesford (@NikkiHesford) January 11, 2024
‘And for you to be successful because of that is amazing. To the point where I think I’ve taken my dragon hat off a little bit here because with her background and everything else, Deborah is just perfect for this.’
After a short deliberation, the dad decided to go with Deborah’s offer after she ‘validated everything’ he believes, resulting in a hug from her and a chorus of ‘well dones’.
He left the den and immediately began to cry in the lift down, saying ‘I kept it together the whole time’ as he laughed in disbelief.
Derry wasn’t the only one in tears; Sara was touched at the connection and was ‘just so thrilled for him’.
Dragons Den airs Thursdays at 8pm on BBC One or catch up on iPlayer.
Source My Celebrity Life.