Worksop-born business reaches out to North for Richard Branson pitch opportunity

Dan Cluderay who was rejected by Dragons Den and now runs Approved foods with a multi million pound turnover Picture Dean Atkins
Dan Cluderay who was rejected by Dragons Den and now runs Approved foods with a multi million pound turnover Picture Dean Atkins

Worksop-born businessman and Approved Food founder Dan Cluderay is reaching out to fellow northerners with five days to go in the race to pitch to Sir Richard Branson.

As the only Yorkshire company in the ‘Grow’ category of the Virgin Media Business #VOOM Pitch to Rich competition, entrepreneur Dan would love the chance to get his business, which started out on Worksop market but is now based in Sheffield, in front of the Virgin boss.

With the deadline for public votes looming, Dan and the team at Approved Food are aware of the Southern based businesses that are dominating the top places and are urging for businesses and members of the public to get behind them.

Innovative businessman Dan explains: “The support we have received so far, reaching over 7,500 votes, is incredible. But I’m all too aware of the Southern based businesses which could have a huge surge of votes over the next five days, with worldwide support.”

“We are the only business left in the North of England in the ‘Grow’ category with a chance of getting in front of Richard Branson, alongside one in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland. We really need folk to get behind us and show that good old northern values and work ethic can help a business drive forward.”

“I’m definitely not a public speaker, but I’d love the opportunity to show Richard and his judging panel what we are capable of from our Sheffield base, supplying customers across the UK and Europe.”

“Looking back at the north’s history, it has a tradition of creating fantastic food and drink retailers, I would love Approved Food to join the ranks with our on-line model that tackles food waste and gives the whole country the ability to tap into ‘value for money’ shopping.”

“We need your support, hit that keyboard and let’s do this and give me chance to fly the flag for northern business!”

The company needs to come out in the top three in the round of voting which is open now and available here:

The winner gets £250,000 marketing support, and two runners-up receive £100,000 marketing support each.

They will also receive a full internet and fixed and mobile voice package from Virgin Media Business for 12 months, unlimited travel on Virgin Trains for 12 months, a place on the Accelerator Network programme (​), a free package of pro bono advice from the ICAEW Business Advice Service ( and a membership to the not-for-profit private members club at The House of St Barnabas (