Shropshire entrepreneur hopes to bag a dragon

It is just a couple of inches square, but businesswoman Carrie Bates hopes that the product her company makes will catch the imagination of multi-millionaires in the dreaded Dragons’ Den.

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Carrie Bate, who landed on the idea of putting luxury oven-roasted coffee in individual bags, appears on Dragons’ Den tomorrow

Carrie launched her coffee-in-a-bag concept last year and viewers will tomorrow watch as she attempts to woo one of the four dragons into giving her business the kick start she needs to go global.

The series shows budding entrepreneurs pitching business ideas to multimillionaires who then decide whether to invest in the their products.

Carrie, 45, will be seen showing off her coffee bags to Deborah Meadon, Duncan Bannatyne, Kelly Hoppen and Peter Jones.

She was today tight-lipped about how she got on under the spotlight, but said it had been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Carrie set up her own business making and supplying luxury coffee bags from an outbuilding at her home near Claverley.

She clinched a deal with top London store Harvey Nichols and has recently won contracts with Easy Jet and Virgin Trains.

The Little Coffee Bag Company has grown so much she has had to outsource work and believes some three million people tried her coffee last year alone.

And she revealed that she had not applied to appear on the Den, but had received an unexpected phone call from producers on the show.

“I was contacted by the BBC about the possibility of appearing on the show and found I’d made it in March last year,” she said.

“Filming was carried out during April and I was told I’d be in episode of nine of the new series.”

Carrie, who is married to Roger, and mum to Lilly, 25, Sian, 22, Mollie, 14 and 12-year-old Jesse, admits that when the doors of the Dragons’ Den lift opened and she was first faced by the millionaires, it was a very daunting experience

She said: “I think the BBC must research small, new companies because we were approached without any advertising.

“I thought the extra investment would be great for our company.

“Once we realised we’d made it we had about a week to get our sales pitch together, so that was a nervous time.

“The whole experience was amazing but I was petrified when queueing up and then you just get shoved on.

“When the doors open you really feel the pressure and no matter how much joking you do they just kept their straight faces. But the initial pitch was such a positive experience.”

The episode, on BBC2, at 9pm on Sunday, will also see a Yorkshire couple go all out to present their glamorous camping business, while another entrepreneur will attempt to graffiti the studio.