Episode 48: Levi Roots: Chef, Entrepreneur and Dragons Den Success Story

*This was recorded back in December but it’s one of my favourites so I wanted to share it with you again for anyone that missed it. Forgive the Christmassey references at the beginning, I hope it doesnt make you feel too discombobulated but Levi is a superstar, and I didnt want you to have missed out by not hearing it.

My castaway this week is Levi Roots.

Levi was born Keith Valentine Graham in Jamaica. After his parents moved to the UK when he was 4, he was brought up by his grandparents until he eventually moved to Britain at the age of 11.

He shot to fame in 2007 by appearing on Dragon’s Den with his famous Reggae Reggae sauce. He wowed the dragon’s and managed to secure a £50,000 investment from Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh.

Within 4 weeks his Reggae Reggae sauces were outselling Heinze tomato ketchup in Sainsbury’s and since then his business has gone from strength to strength. He now has so many products ranging from sauces, to snacks, to seasonings and ready meals. He’s written 7 books, released 4 albums and opened a successful restaurant. He does a lot of work with the Prince’s Trust and is a key figure in the Brixton community.

We recorded this at Levi’s restaurant in Westfield Stratford so you can hear a little of the hustle and bustle of the restaurant in the background which I kind of like.

Levi has a whole host of delicious Desert Island Dishes in his selection and oh my goodness – Levi’s final desert island dish sounds like complete heaven. I love the sound of the porridge his grandmother used to make, and his choice of sandwich was not what I was expecting at all. I think Levi’s story is really inspiring, and he talks so eloquently about his time in prison and how to worked to turn his life around with huge success.

I just thought there were so many interesting and inspiring nuggets in there.


What do you think?

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