Dragons’ Den ‘most successful’ pitch labelled ‘not big enough’ is now worth £30m

Despite the lack of faith from some Dragons’ Den investors, Levi was able to take his investment and turn Reggae Reggae sauce into a multimillion pound business, now worth more than £30million, with a biopic in the near future.

‌Levi Roots appeared in the Den in 2007 asking for £50,000 for a 20 percent stake in the homemade Reggae Reggae sauce.‌

Reggae Reggae Sauce is a hot to mild jerk BBQ sauce which aims to replace tomato ketchup and hot pepper sauce.

Duncan Bannatyne immediately dismissed the pitch saying “there’s no business in this. I’m not going to invest. I’m out”.

Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden also decided they would not commit to the sauce.

Deborah said: “It’s not going to be on a big enough scale for me, so I’m out.”

Peter Jones and Richard both expressed interest in the sauce. They offered him half of the money with 20 percent each. This meant Levi would get the whole £50,000 for 40 percent equity.

Hesitantly, Levi accepted the offer, and said: “The deal is not ideal for me but at the same time, it will do fantastic for the sauce so I will accept it gladly.”

And good thing he did as years later the sauce sells worldwide.

Reggae Reggae sauces are now stocked in all major UK supermarkets, taking the business worth to an estimated £30 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Roots has not just stopped at sauces, with an album, BBC cooking show, cookbooks, Caribbean-inspired food festival, plans to launch a chain of restaurants and a film, the entrepreneur has found the most success from the Den.

Peter Jones remains a shareholder and advocate for the brand and claimed: “It’s one of my most successful investments from the show.”

Now, a biopic is in the works about his life and Levi told how a director has already been lined up for the project as he spoke to Michael Ball on BBC Radio 2.

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He also shared his excitement over the stars shortlisted to play him in the biopic, admitting he would love to see Attack The Block star John take on the role.

Levi said: “I would love for somebody who knows the Levi story.

“Someone like John Boyega, you know from Peckham? He knows my story, he’s lived my life.

“I’m in Brixton and he’s from Peckham. So he would know what it is to play Levi and to do that.”

Shortly after Levi’s appearance on the Dragon’s Den, Sainsbury’s announced that they would be stocking the sauce in 600 of their stores.

The rest was history as his sales soared and developed into the brand it is today.

‌Episodes of Dragons’ Den are available on BBC iPlayer.

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