Old Curiosity Book Shop FSB Award

The Old Curiosity Bookshop Wins Major Regional Award

The Old Curiosity Bookshop, Hathern scooped up a major East Midlands award this week at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards winning the Self-Employed/Sole Trader of the Year category.

Speaking of the achievement, owner of the Old Curiosity Bookshop, Tina Walford, said, “I’ve never attended such a prestigious event ever! The room was full of fabulous businesses and as I heard their stories and applauded the winners of other categories I was feeling like a very, very small business indeed. Fortunately I had a lot of support at the table I was on and they kept my spirits up helping me to believe that I did stand a chance in my category. To be a finalist in such a prestigious set of awards was flabbergasting but to actually hear my name announced as the winner of the very last category announced was unbelievable!

“I now go to the national finals in Glasgow to represent the East Midlands in the Self-Employed/sole Trader of the Year category. I’m very, very excited and very, very nervous all at the same time. I’m still pinching myself when I think about this win. I posted about it on social media and the response from customers, friends and fellow business owners has been overwhelming to say the least. At the actual awards event other finalists and winners came up to me afterwards and congratulated me saying that they loved hearing my story and that of the Old Curiosity Bookshop. They were all so very kind. I also was invited to record an interview with the FSB which will be shared soon across their website and social media feeds. It was all very exciting and a little overwhelming but so unbelievably worthwhile! I am absolutely thrilled and want to say a huge thank you to all our customers and congratulations to the other finalists and winners.”

Organisers of the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards commented on the number and high calibre of entrants for this year’s awards and wished Tina well for the national finals in May. Regional Chairman, Les Phillimore, said, “I’d like to add my congratulations to those Tina has already received. Her story and success go to prove that retail is alive and kicking in the East Midlands. The number and calibre of entrants this year was exceptional and I am delighted to see East Midlands businesses competing, thriving and growing despite the massive uncertainty we’ve all been experiencing and continue to experience. I wish Tina and all our East Midlands winners all the very best of luck for the national finals in Glasgow. Go and fly the flag for the East Midlands with pride!”

The national final of the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards takes place in Glasgow on May 19th.

Back in the Den – Duo Back For Second Attempt!

In the history of Dragons’ Den there have been only two business partners who have been on the programme twice…. And only one of those received a different response from the Dragon’s to that of their first visit.

Peter Neath and Ian Worton first appeared on Dragons’ Den thirteen years ago with their breakthrough product Grillstream BBQ‘s which, despite not attracting the Dragon’s investment, went on to be extremely successful selling worldwide.  Fast forward to today and Peter and Ian have just returned from the Dragons’ Den after a second visit – this time with their innovative product SauceStream® – and a completely different response!

Commenting on the experience Ian said, “We went on Dragons’ Den thirteen years ago but didn’t quite get there investment-wise.  Despite this we went on to experience amazing ongoing success with our Grillstream BBQ’s which are now the number two BBQ brand in the UK and Israel.  We also have licencing deals with the Coleman brand in Canada and are now selling worldwide.

“We were confident that our new SauceStream Squeezer product would hit the right note with both the Dragons and the public.  Basically our Squeezer fixes the age old problem of getting sauce out of glass bottles and at the same time helps people move away from single use plastic sauce bottles into environmentally friendly glass sauce bottles.  We thought that Deborah Meaden would be interested as she’s known for her interest in environmental solutions, but our sights were set on Peter Jones who helped launch Reggae Reggae sauce and also the new Dragon, Steven Bartlett, with his worldwide social media contacts.

“After we made our presentation all of the Dragons used our sample Squeezers and loved the product and our environmental goals.  We’re pleased to say that after a much easier time this time in the Den we were supported by three Dragons – Peter Jones, Steven Bartlett and Deborah Meaden – but after negotiations declined the Dragons’ offer.  

“We know the power of the Den from our last appearance there and how it brings about commercial opportunities.  Now, with three Dragons loving our latest innovation we’re looking forward to worldwide success with our Squeezer range of products.”

Adds co-founder and co-inventor Peter, “Going back into the Den after thirteen years was a chance to put the record straight.  We came so close last time with Theo showing particular interest but us just not quite sealing the deal.  One of my abiding memories of that first appearance was Peter Jones saying that he didn’t want to be remembered as the face of a grill like George Foreman.  We were really disappointed at the time but it all worked out in the end.  For sure we wanted to show that two engineers from Birmingham had designed a better BBQ and that we’d sold it worldwide – without their help! 

“The presentation was still a nerve racking experience.  We still hadn’t got it 100% right up to five minutes before the lift door opened.  However, when we hit our spot on the Den’s floor we got it right including the demo!

“The whole experience was great.  We were leaving the past behind and demonstrated that we were good engineers which was a point made by more than one Dragon.  They commented on how well the Squeezer product was engineered which made me very proud of what we have achieved in Lockdown with very limited resources.  To walk out as winners this time was the best feeling ever!”

Despite three Dragon’s wanting to get involved with SauceStream and the Squeezers, Peter and Ian were unable to come to a final agreement with the Dragons and decided to continue on alone.  Adds Ian, “Obviously it was fantastic that three Dragons wanted to invest in SauceStream and that millions of people have now seen them championing our innovative product.  Despite not being able to come to a final agreement with them we had a brilliant time going back into the Den for a second time and all three of the Dragons wished us all the very best for our future.  Of course, we’re looking forward to the opportunities SauceStream will attract as a direct result of going onto Dragons’ Den.  In fact, just recently, the organisers of the Commonwealth Games have shared a list with us of all the caterers at the Games with their blessing for us to offer SauceStream at the Games rather than single use plastic sachets and plastic bottles.  Those conversations are ongoing and we’re very excited to see SauceStream at the Games!”

Photos / Images from the Show:

Pictures from the show are available for press on www.bbcpictures.co.uk.

Editors Notes

SauceStream® was brought to life by Peter Neath and Ian Worton, the dynamic duo behind the revolutionary Grillstream BBQ‘s, available nationwide in garden centres, major department stores and many outlets across the country.

In August 2009 Ian and Peter first showcased Grillstream to the nation on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den which catapulted the business to immediate success with sustained notoriety to this day.

During a Grillstream BBQ demonstration, and whilst in conversation, Peter and Ian were discussing Blue Planet – a television program fronted by David Attenborough – and the ramifications of single use plastics.  The common consensus was that there is over use of plastic bottles including condiment bottles such as the favourite Ketchup and BBQ sauce.  The ideal solution was, and still is, the use of glass bottles – a material that is sustainable to the planet due to its ability to be both cleaned and reused but also endlessly recycled.  The cons that were bought up was about its functionality and its use.  The highlight remark from that conversation was, “If only you could squeeze glass bottles”.  Cue the duo’s light bulb moment!

Numerous discussions, market research, prototype after prototype, consumer feedback and even more design work and SauceStream’s Squeezer’s were born; a solution to the drawbacks of the classic hard glass bottles – the ability to squeeze your sauce out – whilst still having the traditional, environmentally friendly glass bottle.  SauceStream strives to be the catalyst for changing the way plastics are consumed worldwide.

Sleek. Clean. Green. Refill. Reuse. Recycle


For further information on the product range, company or to interview Peter and Ian please contact Rachel Hargrave at RDZ PR: rachel.hargrave@rdz-pr.co.uk / 01654 701 239.

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