‘What just happened?’ Couple secure ‘amazing’ £85,000 offer in Dragons’ Den first

Dragons' Den: Eco Tray pitch is snapped up by Meaden

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Joel and Nikki Buckley own Eco Union Ltd based in Exeter which makes sustainable decorating tools for the trade and DIY sector. The married couple pitched their Ecotray product to the Dragons and were looking for an investment of £85,000 for a 10 percent share of their company.

Not only can these carbon neutral eco trays be reused over and over again, but they can also be discarded with a clean conscience because they decompose naturally, unlike plastic.

The trays are made from 100 percent recycled waste material, don’t require washing out after every use and can be crushed when no longer needed.

Deborah Meaden asked the pair how people would dispose of the tray in an environmentally friendly way.

Nikki responded: “The difficulty is we can’t say what type of paint is going to go on the tray so we are saying it’s probably better you put it in your landfill where it will naturally degrade and then the layer of paint will just be left over.

“This is like a paper product so it’s just going to naturally mulch and leave the paint behind.”

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Peter Jones was the first dragon to make an offer, offering all of the money for a 25 percent share in the business.

This was quickly undercut by Deborah Meaden who wanted a 20 percent share in the company.

Dragons Sara Davies and Touker Suleyman were also impressed, offering to join forces with Deborah or Peter to take 10 percent.

The only dragon that didn’t bid was newcomer Steven Bartlett who said the only reason was because he could see how passionate Sara Davies was.

For the first time in the show’s history, Peter later withdrew his offer because he wanted the couple to choose Deborah Meaden.

He joked: “If I’m really interested in something they’re all interested!

“But take away the bravado and you’re walking in with this product and you want Deborah Meaden.

“Even I want Deborah Meaden. Deborah has done an incredible job with DIY and eco- friendly businesses. She’s the one person who can make this dream come true.”

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Nikki and Joel finally accepted Deborah’s offer after first quizzing her to see if she would be willing to partner with Sara.

Deborah replied that she’d love to go into business with Sara at some point but thought this opportunity was just for her.

Speaking after their pitch, Nikki turned to husband Joel and said: “What just happened? Amazing!”

Dragons’ Den continues next Thursday on BBC One at 8pm.

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