JMW advises Dragon’s Den success story

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JMW advises Dragon’s Den success story

Lawyers at fast-growing legal services firm JMW Solicitors are advising two Manchester businesswomen after they successfully pitched for investment on flagship BBC TV show Dragon’s Den.

Owners of the acclaimed Manchester restaurant Sweet Mandarin - twin sisters Helen and Lisa Tse - secured the offer of £50,000 investment from dragons Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devey, in exchange for a 40 per cent stake in their new business, on Sunday’s show (23rd September).

They are now targeting exponential growth for the new venture – Sweet Mandarin Sauces, which are gluten-free and have no MSG, no artificial colourings and no preservatives. They have already secured listings for the sauces, which are available in sweet chilli, barbecue and sweet & sour flavours, with Wing Yip - the UK’s largest chain of Chinese supermarkets - and are in negotiations with the North West grocery chain Booths.

The family now has its sights set on the brand becoming a household name.

JMW has acted for the Sweet Mandarin restaurant and cookery school over the last year and is currently advising on the deal with the dragons, as well as a full range of matters including branding, intellectual property and funding.

Lisa Tse, said: “We launched Sweet Mandarin Sauces because there is a gap in the market and we believe the brand has the potential to be huge and I’m happy to say the Dragons agreed.

It’s a very exciting time and we’ve called on JMW’s advice throughout the process. We’re entering an entirely new market and have faced a number of key decisions along the way – such as whether to go down a licencing or manufacturing route. JMW’s advice has been invaluable.

Joy Kingsley, senior partner at JMW Solicitors, said: “Helen and Lisa are inspirational business people and Sweet Mandarin Sauces is a great example of a recession-busting start-up, backed by drive and talent. We weren’t surprised that the dragons took such an interest in the brand and we’re looking forward to playing a role in helping the Tse family meet their ambitions going forward.

Chef Lisa developed the sauces in response to demand from customers suffering from Coeliac disease, a condition which affects one in 100 people in the UK. Sweet Mandarin Sauces has now been endorsed by leading charity Coeliac UK.

Proud to be a British manufacturer, all of the business’ sauces are hand-made on-site at Sweet Mandarin, with the team currently producing 1,000 bottles per day.

Sweet Mandarin was named the best Chinese restaurant in the UK on Gordon Ramsay’s ‘F Word’ in 2010 and has been awarded the coveted one AA rosette for 2011 and 2012. Their self-titled book, published by Random House has just been released on Kindle to celebrate the Dragon’s Den investment.


For more information:

Peter Lappin
0161 235 0328
07540 047 834

Samantha Meakin
0161 828 1981
07595 277 842

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is one of the leading Manchester law firms and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients. We are committed to providing legal services in a cost effective and timely manner.

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