The creator of Reggae Reggae sauce says he owes his multimillion dollars success to his family, partly because he became more determined to appear on Dragons’ Den when his children begged him not to.
Levi Roots, 56, from Brixton, is one of the BBC show’s most successful contestants.
He made his name singing his “Reggae Reggae Sauce” song to the investors in 2007, helping him to secure $70,000 from Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh for 20 per cent of his business.
Since then he has launched a whole range of related products and is about to open “Rastaurants” across the country. He is thought to be worth about $42 million.
The Jamaican-born businessman previously had a music career, performing with the likes of James Brown and Maxi Priest and gaining a nomination for Best Reggae Act at the Mobo awards in 1998.
Roots, a father of seven, said: “I owe a lot to my family. I borrowed money from my mother right at the beginning. I owe the business in part to her.
“I remember when I got the card of the BBC producer about Dragons’ Den. I told my kids. They said to me – do not do Dragons’ Den. They didn’t want me to embarrass them. They said, ‘Do not sing the Reggae Reggae Sauce song. Not on national television.’
“I think they were trying to protect me. But I then went on the show because my kids said don’t. So I guess my kids changed my life.”
He made the comments at the Elite Business Conference, an entrepreneurial exhibition in Shoreditch. Other speakers included Ultimo co-founder Michelle Mone.