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Levi Roots: Business is about teamwork

HE MEANS BUSINESS: Levi Roots

CELEBRATED CHEF Levi Roots says the success of his business is the result of teamwork.

The entrepreneur, who found fame with his Reggae Reggae Sauce, has also penned several Caribbean cookbooks and recently announced that he is set to launch a new restaurant in east London’s famed shopping centre, Westfield.

But despite being the face of his successful brand, Roots insists that teamwork is what brought his vision to life.

“I have a fantastic team that does all the work you don’t see,” says the chef, who is now the food columnist for The Voice.

“I’m like the top of the duck that you see gliding smoothly across the water and my team are the legs that are doing the hard work to help carry me along! It really has been a team effort to build the brand and that’s really what business is about.”

The 57-year-old rose to prominence in 2007 after appearing on the BBC programme Dragons’ Den, where he convinced businessmen Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh to invest £50,000 in his venture to launch his jerk-barbecue sauce.


BRAND AMBASSADOR: Roots found fame with his Reggae Reggae Sauce

Having gone on to expand his Reggae Reggae brand to include soft drinks, chilled foods and pasties, Roots believes that more budding businesspeople should embrace the ethos of teamwork.

“I think if more people realised [the importance of teamwork], we’d have more successful businesses. Our community tends to have that lone wolf mentality, where we like to keep everything to ourselves and for ourselves. But for me, a team effort is what it’s all about.”

Reflecting on his approach to building his brand, Roots says that it was his Dragons’ Den investor that gave him some of the best advice.

“After speaking to Peter [Jones] at a very early stage, I got an understanding of what my business should be about,” Roots recalls. “I asked him, ‘How should I go about things now that I’m entering this big business world?’ He said, ‘Levi, just be yourself. Be who you are. The strength of you product or your brand is how you sell it.’

“Of course, it’s fantastic when you have a great product, which we knew we had with the sauce. But he said that the personality behind the brand is what would really sell it. Ever since he gave me that advice, that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Read the full interview with Levi Roots in the next issue of The Voice, out tomorrow (July 30)

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