This article by Rik Jespersen appeared in The Local Weekly on January 13, 2016
Holy Crap wine and beer are a couple of the new product lines that could be in the works thanks to a deal recently signed by the owners of the hugely successful Sunshine Coast organic cereal company.
Founders Corin and Brian Mullins appeared for a second time on CBC’s Dragons’ Den in a program broadcast Jan. 6. It was also the second time the Mullins did a deal with Dragon Jim Treliving, only to see both parties again amicably back out of their initial verbal agreement.
This time, the Mullins quickly signed up with another Dragon, Manjit Minhas, whose Calgary-based family’s conglomerate includes the tenth-largest brewery in North America.
“They are capable of doing Holy Crap organic wine and beers,” Brian Mullins said in an interview with the Local. “They’ve talked to us about licencing already.”
Minhas has come on as a co-CEO with the Mullins, and has agreed in principle to buy the company later for $3.6 million.
Although the program was taped and the deal was done last fall, the Mullins were sworn to secrecy until the show aired.
“We entered into a three-year agreement with the Minhas family on October 1st. We’ve been quietly working with them since then. They have a right of first refusal to buy the company,” Mullins said. “We’re all working together and see how it works out. We’ve got a three-year deal with them right now, regardless of what happens.”
That comes as a great relief to those who watched the CBC broadcast and got the impression that Minhas had bought the company outright. Actually, the Mullins are still in charge.
“We’re not going anywhere,” he said, having signed a new three-year lease on their factory and warehouse on Hough Rd. in upper Gibsons, and retaining their 13 employees.
Meanwhile, the Minhas family will wield its corporate power and considerably extend the reach of Holy Crap.
“Their marketing force in Western Canada is going to go into all the grocery stores and make personal contact with them that we couldn’t have done or afforded to do before,” Brian Mullins said.
And it doesn’t end there.
“Our agreement with Minhas is just for the U.S. and Canada. We are working with other potential partners, literally around the world,” said Mullins. “We’ll see what happens in China.”