News » Whistler

Nonna Pia's seals deal with the Dragons

Six-month secret finally revealed on CBC Dragons' Den show Nov.19



Did they get a deal with the CBC dragons or not?

Is Nonna Pia's balsamic reduction going national in a big way?

Did Whistler entrepreneurs Norm and Natasha Strim get what they were asking for?

After six months of keeping mum on the biggest news of their professional lives, the Strims can now tell the world.

They did it. They signed the deal. Their balsamic reduction is in stores nationwide. And most of all, they got more than they were asking for — $200,000 for 18 per cent of their company.

And if that's not a shot in the arm about what you're trying to sell in one of the toughest sales rooms in the country then what is?

"It was like a dream come true," said an elated Natasha Strim, who has had to keep quiet about the deal they shook hands on during the April taping of the CBC hit show Dragons' Den.

The deal was officially signed four months later.

The Strims invited friends and family and those who have helped along the way to their airing party Wednesday night where everyone watched it unfold on TV as dragons Arlene Dickinson and David Chilton stepped up to partner with them.

The Strims faced the dragons with a request for $180,000 and 18 per cent, with a goal to take their balsamic reduction to the east.

They didn't expect to get more.

The Dragons obviously saw the potential to take the company to new heights.

And so, life is going to change: they're expecting a lot more traffic on the website, they want to feed the momentum from the show with planned TV appearances in the east, and the target for next year remains getting into the U.S. market in a big way.

"Life's going to change a lot in the next month," said Strim. "It's going to be extremely busy.

"Hopefully we'll increase our sales."

But they won't forget their roots. Nonna Pia's began with a dream and a table at Bizarre Bazaar seven years ago.

They'll be back at it again this year, and expect a local's deal at some point during the weekend fair. Meanwhile, their kids will be selling shortbread at Bratz Biz.

"The encouragement is crazy," said Strim of the local community.

"We just can't thank the people of Whistler enough."