JUST seven years ago, Morag Ekanger would spend her time driving in an old Nissan Micra to Maltby Street market in South London to flog her chocolate brownies.

Morag, along with business partner Paz Sarmah, had quit their jobs to launch their Bad Brownie brand and invested £500 of their cash on the first ingredients. Morag Ekanger is the co-founder of Bad Brownie, which turned over £3.5million Credit: Morag Ekanger She started selling brownies in Maltby Street Market with business partner Paz Sarmah Credit: Morag Ekanger Morag and business partner Paz went on Dragons’ Den in 2016 and walked away with £60,000 of investment Credit: Not known, clear with picture desk Touker Suleyman gained a stake of 30 per cent of their business for his investment Credit: BBC And their leap of faith certainly paid off, after they were scouted at the market by BBC’s Dragons’ Den and ended up securing £60,000 from Touker Suleyman.

Although they eventually amicably bought back their shares from the Dragon in 2020, Morag and Paz revealed how they’ve gone from strength to strength, and turned over £3.5million last year.

Speaking to Fabulous about their humble beginnings, Morag said: “Paz and I worked for a branding agency and spent a lot of time talking about chocolate.

“I don’t think he ever quite believed how much I ate. We just hit it off. More on business stories

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“We gradually decided that we wanted to set up a business together and we were clear that it was going to be about chocolate of some sort.”

The friends had no cooking experience and wanted a product they could easily make themselves at home.

Morag explained: “We decided on chocolate brownies.

“We wanted to have something that was for everyone and less perfect than something like cupcakes; a product that was more about the flavour than icing and decorating.” Most read in Fabulous

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The pair invested £500 of their own money buying ingredients and doing trials in “Paz’s little kitchen.”

Once they had some brownies they were proud of, they set up a small eCommerce site and got a stand at Maltby Street market in south-east London.

One of their ‘tactics’ was “hiring actors” as Morag and Paz thought they would “put on a good performance” with selling.

Morag admitted she was initially anxious about whether the business would be a success, and said: “We were so nervous thinking ‘will anybody buy these? Are they even good?’“Once we made that first sale we were like ‘ok this is a real thing now.’“We drove everywhere for a long time in Paz’s mum’s car.“We got a spot at Maltby Market. It was nothing like it is now, but it was a rising cool spot in London.“We felt like we’d made it at that point.”One day at Maltby Street Market, the pair were approached by a scout for Dragons’ Den and were told they had new Dragons starting who were interested in food investments.Along with their online sales and branching out to festivals, their turnover up until this point had been £300,000 and they were baking between 2,000 and 5,000 brownies a week.After months of getting through the BBC’s paperwork, their filming slot came in 2016. FABULOUS BINGO: Get a £20 bonus & 30 free spins when you spend £10 today Morag said of the day: “I was so nervous, and they really build it up.“I agonised over my shoes, that was really important.“On the actual day you get there really early in the morning, insanely early, and then you are straight into a green room and you can’t rehearse your pitch in front of everyone else.“We prepped a lot and obviously I promptly forgot everything when I went in the room.“You can’t go to the toilet by yourself and have to be escorted in case you run into a Dragon.“It’s really bizarre.“We waited all day and sweated it out. We were so nervous thinking ‘will anybody buy these? […]

source My brownie business made me £3.5m in a YEAR – I started it in a grotty street market, even Dragons’ Den love it

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