Levi Roots discusses the downside of investment that people don't seeLevi Roots was a television sensation when he came on the BBC Television show Dragons Den and secured a £50,000 investment for 40% of his Reggae Reggae Sauce business by Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh.
Levi will be sharing his story on life after investment, discussing the aspects that most people do not see as well as why getting investment is only one piece of the puzzle to him growing his multi-million pound business.
Levi Roots, is a British-Jamaican reggae musician, television personality, celebrity chef, businessman and multi-millionaire.
For years Levi made the sauce from his kitchen in Brixton with the help of his seven children, selling his overwhelmingly popular sauce out of bag on his back.
At 1991's Notting Hill Carnival Levi created a fusion between the food he was cooking and the music he was playing, opening the Rasta’raunt, which was so popular it is now an annual fixture at Carnival. Despite the sauce's popularity it took another 16 years of rejection from banks and businesses to invest in the product who thought it looked and sounded "too black".
In 2006, Levi was spotted at the World Food Market by a BBC researcher and invited to appear on the programme Dragons’ Den. Levi had never even heard of the show, and went home to his kids asking them what Dragons’ Den was. They begged him not to appear saying; "Dad, don't go on that show, they'll just tear you to pieces!"
Although he was doubtful about the programme, Levi’s mother encouraged him to come back as a Dragon Slayer. Levi put his faith in Reggae Reggae Sauce to win over those fiery Dragons.
The sauce was an instant hit. In exchange for a 40% stake in his business, he secured the support of millionaire Dragons, Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh for £50,000. Peter Jones helped to get the sauce listed by Sainsbury's, turning the dream into a reality.
Levi's success has been nothing short of a whirlwind and he has even been invited by Prime Ministers to No 10 in recognition of his notable success as a black man in Britain attaining financial achievement through enterprise. Levi equates his success to putting himself into the product.
Levi's main focus has been to promote the Reggae Reggae brand and the message it symbolizes "I want to spread the word that if a black Brixtonian Rastafarian can make it with just a sauce, then you can make it too."
The Levi Roots range continues to grow with Caribbean inspired cooking sauces, ready meals, soft drinks, desserts and more. Numerous high profile restaurant chains have signed deals with Levi to use the sauce on their menus including Wetherspoons and other high street franchises
In 2008, Levi hosted his debut TV series 'Caribbean Food Made Easy’ in which he aimed to make the vibrant tastes and healthy ingredients of Caribbean food more accessible, and it was accompanied by his iconic book of the same name.
As well as cooking, Levi continued to fulfill his passion for credible roots music by releasing his studio album 'Red Hot' with its catchy summer single So Out Of My Mind, in 2009.
With seemingly endless possibilities for the popular Levi Roots brand, Levi continues to bring the sunshine of the Caribbean to all of his ventures while popularizing the spicy flavours of his Jamaican heritage…always focused and ever motivated, Levi Roots remains true to his inspired mantra of success, 'Put some music in your food!'
Along the way, Levi has managed to pack in a great deal! In 2013, he launched his School oO Life Tour, taking his message to children all over the country, inspiring them to follow their dreams and showing them how to make tasty, healthy food. He has published six cookbooks and a business book, released a new album and most recently, Levi realised his ultimate dream of opening a Caribbean restaurant. In December 2015, the Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse opened its doors to the public in Westfield Stratford City, bringing authentic sights, sounds and tastes of the Caribbean to the masses.
Over 21s only. Valid ID required.