South Surrey’s Norm Bradley has patented sandals for people who need orthotics, and will be asking Dragon’s Den hosts to lend their support. (Tracy Holmes photo)

South Surrey senior hopes to lure Dragons with comfort

Norm Bradley to pitch orthotic-friendly sandals April 26 in Toronto

South Surrey senior Norm Bradley is getting ready to set foot in the Dragons’ Den.

And it just so happens that when he does, his pitch will be all about feet – providing a summer option for people who use orthotics, to be precise.

“It was just an issue that came up, there’s nothing else available,” Bradley told Peace Arch News, of how he turned a shoe-market gap that was affecting him into a business that he estimates some 500 million people across Canada and the U.S. may be interested in.

Bradley, 71, said it all started about two years ago, during a trip to see his daughter in Cabo, Mexico.

The senior typically wears orthotics in his shoes, but Bradley said he switched to memory-foam sandals because his feet were getting too hot under the Mexico sun. He soon regretted the decision.

“After two days, I got such severe foot pain,” he said.

Determined to remain in sandals, he took his orthotic inserts out of his runners and taped them to his sandals.

“People got a big kick out of it,” he said of the do-it-yourself look.

But the idea stuck, and on returning home Bradley set to coming up with a sandal designed for people who wear orthotics.

He received his first shipment of his Cabo Comfort footwear – which have a patented pocket in the sole specifically for personal orthotics – in December. They’re now available online and in three retail stores, and Bradley says interest in the sandals has been growing.

Later this month, he’ll ask the Dragons to step into the business, during an April 26 audition in Toronto.

“My pitch is I’m a 71-year-old late-blooming entrepreneur,” the retired foundry manager and metallurgical engineer said.

Bradley didn’t want to publicize the deal that he’s going to propose during the audition, and said he’s signed a non-disclosure agreement that prevents him from sharing the outcome of the audition prior to the show going on-air in September.

He believes Dragons Arlene Dickinson and Jim Treliving are most likely to be interested, but said whatever happens, the experience will be positive.

“It doesn’t matter. The companies that go on and don’t make a deal, the business triples,” Bradley said. “Most of them say, the day after it goes on TV, they can’t keep up.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey’s Boze Corn Maze set to open with one big ‘50’ in the design

This year’s maze has some ‘social-distancing bubbles’ built into it, says farmer Mike Bose

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta police investigating shots fired in Tsawwassen

No injuries reported after police called to Parkrove Crescent Sunday afternoon (Aug. 9)

South Surrey boy’s lemonade stand raises $670 for baby Lucy on BC Day weekend

Zach Young, 6, wanted to help with purchase of Vancouver infant’s costly drug ‘to help her get better’

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Most Read