Dragons’ Den: Popular Ottawa donut shop ‘Holey Confections’ strikes a deal

Dragons’ Den: Popular Ottawa donut shop ‘Holey Confections’ strikes a deal

A little creativity and a whole lot of determination has turned into a popular donut business in Ottawa, one that is now being cast into a new kind of spotlight after an appearance on the television series Dragons’ Den.

The past four years have been somewhat of a whirlwind for Holey Confections, which has opened three locations across the city.

“When we first started, I didn’t know we would grow past one location,” said owner Samantha Armstrong. “But to grow to this size, we didn’t expect that to be honest.”

Recently, the hit spot aired on the Jan. 11 episode of Dragons’ Den. The couple went in asking for a $500,000 investment in exchange for 10 per cent of their business.

After some negotiating, they accepted a deal of $500,000 for 25 per cent from ‘Dragons’ Vincenzo Guzzo and Manjit Minhas.

“Obviously, it’s better because you’re on Dragons’ Den and more people have seen it, but we have never not had a community that backs us,” said Armstrong.

Owning a donut shop was never on their radar until a twist of fate sparked the idea.

The display case at Holey Confections in Ottawa. (CTV News Ottawa)

“COVID-19 had hit and the Thursday before the world shut down, I had just been laid off,” said her husband, Tyler Armstrong.

So that’s when the duo decided to turn lemons into donuts.

“We were worried about how we were going to provide for the family and we had travelled a bit before and come across a concept we really enjoyed,” said Tyler.

With no culinary background, the pair spent months perfecting their 140 layer donut before introducing it on Instagram.

“Sam did all the marketing and with the support of the community, we slowly grew month-over-month and here we are today,” said Tyler.

Now, with the support of not one, but two Dragons, there’s no telling how far their sugary creations will go.

“Some of these machines are upwards of $200,000,” said Armstrong. “So we knew we had to go with someone who had money and who had the experience to help us grow and expand, and that’s what we wanted, to expand.”

Because the episode just aired, Armstrong said the details of the deal are still being worked out.

Samantha Armstrong restocks the donut display at her Barrhaven store Holey Confections on Jan. 27, 2024 (Katelyn Wilson/CTV News).

“Since it just aired, we’re now just starting to get into the swing of things and move forward with everything,” said Armstrong.

Their dream is to take over the donut world nationwide.

“As long as you have the drive and the passion, I don’t think anyone is going to stop you,” said Tyler.

Holey Confections has locations in Barrhaven, Orleans and Carleton Place. 

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