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Alcoholic jams wow former TV star of ‘Dragon’s Den’

Theo Paphitis (centre), former star of hit TV show  'Dragons' Den', meets Carmen and Russell Beese.
Theo Paphitis (centre), former star of hit TV show 'Dragons' Den', meets Carmen and Russell Beese.

A family firm, of Watnall, that creates alcoholic jams has tickled the tastebuds of a businessman who starred on the hit TV show, ‘Dragons’ Den’.

Former ‘Dragon’ Theo Paphitis declared “I’m in!” when he heard about Joyful And Mellow, which has been created by Carmen Breese and her husband and business partner, Russell.

The millionaire singled out the company as part of an initiative on Twitter aimed at increasing publicity and driving sales.

“The fact that Theo personally handpicked Joyful And Mellow leaves me at a loss for words,” said 54-year-old Carmen, who lives in Watnall.

“It is absolutely thrilling when you see your own business venture receive this kind of recognition. It is a truly powerful validation.”

Joyful And Mellow, launched two-and-a-half years ago, is earning a rising reputation for its collection of alcholic jams and spreads. Quirky and delectable, they are being snapped up as ideal gifts, particularly for birthdays and at Christmas.

“It started as a hobby, “ explained Carmen, whose 12-year-old daughter Sophia also helps out. “I have always loved cooking with alcohol and I started off by making alcoholic cupcakes.

“When I moved on to spreads, I gave them to family and friends as Christmas presents, and they said they were so good, I should try selling them.

“I just like to do things differently. I don’t follow recipes. Sometimes they are a success, sometimes they are a disaster!”

Joyful and Mellow is now such a success that the jams have 17 flavours, including Merlot wine, gin and lemon, pina colada, spice rum with ginger and the best-seller, Prosecco. Carmen has even developed a take on Paphitis’s favourite, drink, a Greek brandy. “They are authentically alcoholic, rather than merely flavoured,” she stressed.

Carmen’s creations caught the attention of Paphitis via his Small Business Sunday project, which invites firms to tweet him on Sunday evenings, describing their business. He then picks out the best six each week and re-tweets their message to his 504,000 followers.

As a result, the firms are given a massive boost through increased exposure and interest in their products.