Dragons miss out on Mexican opportunity

A Belper entrepeneur is pushing ahead with her business despite a TV set back.

Marcela Flores-Newborn was understandably dissapointed when the stars of the BBC show ‘Dragon’s Den’ declined to invest in her traditional Mexican food company, Rico Mexican Kitchen.

However the Belper based business has since received a six figure investment from a Northampton company and is looking to expand her company and see a wider audience enjoy her food.

The show was filmed eight weeks ago but only broadcast on Sunday.

Marcela, 43, said: “We’re talking to the big supermarkets now, hoping to get people to try our products in a lot of different places.”

Marcela pitched her business plan to the Dragons in the hope that their money and profile in the business world could help further the company. She described the experience of the two hour interview as “one of the scariest of my life.”

None of the Dragon’s took the opportunity to buy a 20 cent stake in the company for £75,000, but the later investment from the iSmart group has meant that Marcela can now look to the future of the company.

Having previously worked as a teacher, she started Rico Mexican Kitchen in 2008 after deciding that she wanted to bring traditional Mexican food and old family recipes to a British market incredibly short of real Mexican cuisine.

She added: “People think Mexican food is just Tacos, there’s a lot more to it than that.”

Run out of her Belper home, with just Marcela, her husband Ian and two part time staff, the business now has the chance to expand, with a premium line of products just taking off.

The support of family back home in Mexico and her husband has helped her believe in the business and take it from an idea to a small start up business.

In 2009 she saw upmarket London store Harrod’s begin stocking her products, a development which according to Marcela was: “Incredible, to have a buyer from Harrods tell me my food was worthy of awards.”

During the show, Deborah Meaden said: “I think there’s quite a big step from doing what you’re doing and the supermarkets.” That is a step Marcela is already beginning to take.