In celebration of a decade of Reggae Reggae – Levi Roots and Westfield are today launching a search for the next big food entrepreneur, enabling the next generation to follow in Brixtonite Levi’s own footsteps.
Having won investment and mentorship through Dragons Den in 2007, Levi went on to create a hugely successful business, opening his first standalone restaurant – Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse at Westfield Strafford City in 2015.
Now budding food entrepreneurs have the chance to get a similar head start in setting up their business. Whether ingredient inventors, restaurateurs or cuisine creators, Westfield and Levi Roots invite anyone with an idea to pitch to a panel of experts led by Levi Roots, Westfield’s chief marketing officer Myf Ryan and a number of other industry experts. The lucky winner will receive one of a kind personal mentoring from Levi himself and a kick starter financial injection from Westfield; enabling them to turn a good idea into a great business.
Levi Roots states: “10 years on from Dragon’s Den, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t value the opportunity I was given to take my idea to the world, and want in turn to be able to give a fellow Londoner with a good idea a platform from which to inspire us all. The beauty of food is that it is always evolving, and I look forward to discovering the next big thing with Westfield this June.”
Ryan, comments: “Westfield Stratford City has one of the biggest selections of London’s favourite dining options. Set within the heart of Stratford we are lucky to be able to provide visitors with the food and flavours of the area – through dedicated spaces such as The Street and our food markets. We understand the importance of supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and encouraging young people in the local community to pursue their dreams. Being able to partner with someone as enigmatic and inspirational as Levi is very exciting and we have no doubt the competition will attract some fantastic ideas form across London’s budding business start ups.”
Inspiring people of both the immediate Stratford area and of London at large to take a chance on their concepts, Levi looks to his own story to show the local community the power of a good idea. From beginnings of selling Reggae Reggae sauce at Notting Hill Carnival, Levi was propelled into public awareness through a successful appearance on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Known for his ability to bring the sunshine of the Caribbean to all of his ventures while popularising the spicy flavours of his Jamaican heritage, Levi has also used his popularity to inspire the next generation. His School of Life initiative – launched in 2013 – looks to educate children around the country how to make delicious healthy food, while his latest search with Westfield invites the local community to together shape the future of food in London.
As a leading food destination in the capital, home to over 150 exciting eating concepts and restaurants offering around 25 different cuisines, Westfield Stratford City also places a big focus on supporting the local community through job creation and supporting upcoming entrepreneurs. Westfield was one of the first signatories of the London Living Wage – something that Levi’s Caribbean Smokehouse also supports and promotes.
Entries for the next food magnates of the future will close 2 June. Applications will be shortlisted with 10 finalists invited to Westfield Stratford City to pitch their idea direct to the judging panel, with one winner and a runner up selected. The search is the latest in a series of programming that celebrates the city’s booming food scene as part of Westfield’s partnership with London Food Month. The Food Truck Festival will take place at Westfield London from 1 – 4 June, and Westfield Stratford City from 22 – 25 June while Westfield’s open air cinema within the Night Markets of will take viewers on a culinary journey from 7 to 18 June.