Levi Roots is the Rastafarian musician, chef and entrepreneur behind the successful Reggae Reggae Sauce brand, a delightful mix of barbecue and jerk sauce which took Britain by storm. In 2007, with the help of Peter Jones, Levi secured an exclusive contract with Sainsburys which saw his ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ stocked in stores across Britain – becoming the chain’s fastest ever selling product.
The Early Years:
Levi had been producing the sauce from his home kitchen with the help of his family and selling the sauce at various small outlets in London. Levi’s secret recipe was inspired by his grandmother Miriam Small who taught him how to cook from a young age in Clarendon, Jamaica. Levi had the recipe in his head for years but didn’t start producing it until 1991 at the Notting Hill Carnival at what he calls the ‘Rastaraunt’ which was a regular feature at the Carnival for over 20 years.
In 2007, Levi appeared on BBC 2’s Dragons’ Den. Levi entered the Den performing his ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ song charming the Dragons with his infectious personality. After many questions, Levi eventually secured investment by Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh jointly investing £50,000.00 for a return share of 40 per cent of his company.
Reggae Reggae Sauce – The Brand:
The rapid popularity of ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ has seen an expansion of the brand, to include a wide range of sauces and products. Levi’s first cookery book, Reggae Reggae Cookbook was published in June 2008 and continues to sell extremely well. His second book, Caribbean Food Made Easy was published in August 2009 and was accompanied by a BBC2 series of the same name. Food For Friends (August 2010), Spice it Up (2011) and Sweet (July 2012) were to follow, all published by Mitchell Beazley, and his latest book, Grill it with Levi was published by Ebury Press in May 2013.
Current ‘Reggae Reggae Sauce’ products include:
- Reggae Reggae Condiments
- Reggae Reggae Cooking Sauces
- Reggae Reggae Ready Meals
- Reggae Reggae Pizza
- Levi Roots Drinks
- Levi Roots Crisps
- Reggae Reggae Nuts
- Reggae Reggae Pasties
- Reggae Reggae Wrap Kits
Levi has also launched his own app called Levi Roots’ Sunshine Food. Levi has also published a business book entitled ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’ (Mitchell Beazley, 2011) which charts his success and provides tips on how to get ahead in business.
His late entry into the culinary field came because of commitments to music. Levi has worked in the music industry for over 30 years as a Reggae singer. As a singer, songwriter, producer and promoter, Levi has sung ‘Happy Birthday’ to Nelson Mandela, worked with James Brown, Maxi Priest and Sly & Robbie, and even played football on a regular basis with friend Bob Marley.
In 1998, Levi was nominated for a MOBO Award after releasing the critically acclaimed album “Free Your Mind”. A tour followed throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, USA and the West Indies.
Media and Motivational Business Speaker:
Levi is a regular face on TV, features in newspaper and magazine business and cookery pieces and he is an incredibly charismatic and motivational keynote speaker. The philanthropist in Levi sees him giving back to the community and the young people in the UK today by visiting hundreds of schools, universities and prisons every year as part of his School of Life Tour. Levi is also a proud ambassador of The Prince’s Trust.