TWO Bromham-based entrepreneurs and their fluffy sidekick left the BBC show Dragon’s Den with a dragon in their pockets, only to later turn them out in the cold.

Dylan Watkins and Louise Mackintosh had four out of the five dragons eating out of their hands when they introduced their raw dog food business Poppy’s Picnic.

Mr Watkins, who invented the product for his miniature schnauzer Poppy, was asking for a £60,000 investment in his business for a five per cent stake, but had to settle for a 15 per cent giveaway.

After the show was screened this week, Mr Watkins revealed that since then he had turned down the cash offered by winning dragon Deborah Meaden.

“We launched in 2016 after my neighbour asked me to make some food for her two rottweilers and I enlisted Martin from the butchers in Bromham, and my brother sent me an application form for the show,” Dylan said. “I thought nothing of it but five months later during a really difficult meeting with a supplier, a researcher from the BBC called and we had a two-and-a-half hour chat.

“We went up to the studios to film last May and the last 18 months have been mad.

“We were actually in the Den for over two hours and the TV edit was a bit different to how it actually happened, but it was great to see it on TV.”

The pair, who have a background in marketing and PR, impressed the dragons with their confident pitch and fast growth, so much so that only Peter Jones dropped out, with Deborah Meaden, Jenny Campbell, Tej Lalvani and Touker Suleyman queuing up to offer them cash.

Despite taking Deborah up on her offer on the night, the pair, who operate from bases in Sandridge Park and Bromham, have since taken a much larger investment from another investor.

“The 15 per cent stake frustrated me a bit but to have four out of the five dragons on board was amazing. Deborah always felt like the obvious choice to us and it was great to take her up on her offer on the day.

“However, we were also invited to join an accelerator programme called Entrepreneurial Spark and although she gave us lots of really good advice, another investor decided to offer us £225,000 for a five per cent stake, so you can guess who we picked!”

The brains behind Poppy’s Picnic, which already exports to Hong Kong, are still in touch with Ms Meaden and are looking ahead to the future.

“We launched our crowdcube fundraiser to help fund our new cat food range, which reached £150,000 in just 12 hours,” Mr Watkins added. “This whole journey has been unbelievable but I’m enjoying every minute.”