Essex County entrepreneurs secure Dragons’ Den deal

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre/Media Release

WINDSOR-ESSEX, ONT. (Nov. 3, 2023) — Cedar Valley, a Tecumseh, Ont.-based pita chips manufacturer, has accepted a million-dollar deal with the Dragons.

Co-owners Ameen Fadel and Surria Fadel pitched their pita chips business to investors on yesterday’s episode of Dragons’ Den on CBC. The mother and son duo initially asked the panel for an investment of $250,000 for a five per cent stake in Cedar Valley but walked away with $1 million for 20 per cent ownership.

The deal was made with longtime Dragons’ Den investor Arlene Dickinson, who is the founder and general partner of District Ventures Capital, a firm that invests in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors. The deal is now in the due diligence process and has not officially closed, although Cedar Valley is confident the deal will be finalized.

“We are hoping to use the investment to purchase additional equipment to increase our production output, product consistency and bring product costs down. This would allow us to scale and bring on new business across Canada and into the US,” said Ameen Fadel, founder and president of Cedar Valley.

Cedar Valley celebrated the airing of the Dragons’ Den episode by hosting a public watch party which saw 200 people come out to support the local business. The event was held at Ameen’s alma mater, Belle River District High School, where he participated in the Student Ventures Entrepreneurship program facilitated by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre, a division of Invest WindsorEssex. Cedar Valley has grown from a student-led business in 2015 to a nationally distributed food manufacturer since it began working with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre.

Cedar Valley manufactures its products, which includes a line of flavoured pita chips and salad dressings, in a 5,000 square-foot (465 square-metre) facility that employees 16 people. The company plans to invest in people, bringing on new team members that can help fuel brand growth in various areas. Cedar Valley has previously secured nearly $600,000 in government funding but the Dragons’ Den deal represents their first private investment.

To watch the episode, visit or the CBC Gem streaming service.

About Cedar Valley: Cedar Valley is a Canadian food manufacturer of authentic style pita chips made with 100 per cent coconut oil. What began as a high school project, has turned into a mission to share our family’s original recipes, inspired by our heritage in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. After co-owner Ameen Fadel received a $3,000 grant from his high school, he partnered with his mom, Surria Fadel, to bring her homemade pita chips to Canadian families. From starting in their home kitchen to opening their own 5,000 square-foot production facility in Windsor, Ont., their line of all-natural pita chips can now be found in over 1,300 grocery stores across Canada.

About Arlene Dickinson: Arlene Dickinson is a Canadian entrepreneur, businesswoman and television personality. She was born on October 8, 1956, in Germiston, South Africa, and later moved to Canada. Arlene is best known for her role as a Dragon on the Canadian television series Dragons’ Den, where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of successful businesspeople.

Dickinson’s impressive career includes her time as the CEO of Venture Communications, a marketing and communications agency she founded in 1988. Under her leadership, the company grew into one of Canada’s largest independent marketing firms, serving a diverse range of clients. Arlene is also an author and public speaker, sharing her business insights and experiences with a wide audience.

Arlene Dickinson is widely recognized for her contributions to the Canadian business landscape and her commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses. Her work on Dragons’ Den and her various entrepreneurial ventures have made her a prominent figure in the Canadian business world.


“When we first walked into the Dragons’ Den, our nerves were at their highest, standing face-to-face with the Dragons. But once we uttered those famous words, “Hello Dragons,” the nerves drained, and the pitch flowed perfectly. They were tough as expected, but at the end of the day, we knew our business. Walking away closing a monster deal with our ideal Dragon, Arlene Dickinson, was a feeling I’ll never forget. The entire experience was incredible, and we were grateful for the opportunity to pitch our business to the Dragons. We were proud to represent our business, culture and local hub of Windsor-Essex. We can’t wait for the next part of Cedar Valley’s journey and to scale even faster with the investment from our new partner!” – Ameen Fadel, Founder & President, Cedar Valley

“The team at the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre celebrates Cedar Valley’s success on Dragons’ Den. It’s been a pleasure working with Cedar Valley over the years and witnessing their continued growth and success. It’s not easy building a business from the ground up. The Fadels have done an excellent job leveraging professional and financial supports to scale their business, but its their hard work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit along with a dedicated consumer following has truly made Cedar Valley a Windsor-Essex success story.” – Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre, Invest WindsorEssex


Natasha Marar
Manager, Marketing and Entrepreneurship Programs
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre, Invest WindsorEssex
Mobile: 519-995-6780 | Phone: 519-997-2922