From Rastafarian musician to inspirational business success story, Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae sauce have scaled unimaginable heights since their appearance on Dragon’s Den. As a keynote, motivational, and after dinner speaker, Levi infuses his rich performance with insights into entrepreneurship, marketing, branding, sales and customer service.
Levi Roots is a musician,chef and entrepreneur, well known after his appearance on BBC’s' Dragon’s Den'. His infectious ethos of Caribbean sunshine continues to put music into food and all other aspects of life.
Levi began making his Reggae Reggae Sauce in his kitchen with the help of his seven adult children; they began selling the sauce to smaller shops in London including a record shop. His recipe was inspired by his Grandmother, who had taught him how to cook from the age of nine in Clarendon, Jamaica. Levi first decided to produce the recipe in 1991 at the Nottinghill Carnival; he sold it at his own stall, named the Rastaraunt, which still features at the carnival each year.
Before his career as a successful businessman, Levi worked in the music industry and performed with some big names including James Brown, Dennis Brown, Michael Rose and Black Uhuru and in 1998 he was nominated for a MOBO award for his album titled ‘Free Your Mind’. Levi had the honour of singing Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela when he visited Brixton and he also played football with the famous icon Bob Marley every Sunday in Battersea Park. His most recent album was released in 2009 and was called ‘Red Hot’; Levi is currently working on a new album.
Levi’s life changed when he appeared on the BBC One TV show ‘Dragon’s Den’ to try and get the Dragon’s to invest in his Reggae Reggae sauce. His presentation of the sauce included a song with his guitar; Levi impressed the judges and left the den with £25,000 from both Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh for a return share of 20 per cent of his company.
Since appearing on the ‘Dragon’s Den’ Levi’s business has expanded rapidly and his Reggae Reggae sauce is now sold in 600 Sainsbury's stores and stalked by all major retailers. His first cookbook, ‘Reggae Reggae Cookbook’ was published in 2008 by HarperCollins. In 2009, his second book was published, titled ‘Caribbean Food Made Easy’; this was accompanied by a BBC Two series with the same name. ‘Food for Friends’ was published in 2010, followed by ‘Spice it Up’ in 2011 and ‘Sweet’ in 2012. Levi’s most recent book is set to be published in May 2013 and is titled ‘Grill it with Levi’.
Levi’s most recent business idea was an app which he designed called Levi Roots Sunshine Food and he published his first business book in 2011 called ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’. He has also opened The Papine Jerk Centre, a restaurant in Battersea. Levi is an ambassador for the Princes Trust and spends much of his time visiting hundreds of schools, universities and prisons every year.
As one of the most successful contestants to come out of the ‘Dragon’s Den’, Levi has continued to grow his business and has utilized his talents. He is an accomplished and experienced business speaker and entertainer.