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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 of 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.
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.
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.
"I will never forget that little paradise Content (in Jamaica) and my saintly grandmother, who helped to make me the success I am now."
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.
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".
While Levi lived with his grandparents in Jamaica his parents were in Brixton working hard so that Levi and his five older siblings could move to England. Every year they would send for another child from the eldest to the youngest. Eventually it was Levi’s turn to leave Jamaica.
In London Levi went to school for the first time and also visited the Notting Hill Carnival,
"I loved the music, the food, the colours."
Little did he know that he would later have his own stall at the festival selling the Reggae Reggae Sauce that would make him his fortune!
Levi's story begins in a tiny little village in Clarendon, Jamaica. As a young boy, Levi helped his grandmother in the kitchen. She taught him the secrets and subtleties of mixing Caribbean flavours, herbs and spices. During this time, Levi also discovered his love for music at the church his grandmother sung at.