St Pauls Carnival has a new chair – Reggae Reggae Sauce King Levi Roots.
The multi-talented businessman, food writer and musician says he will work to make St Pauls Carnival “bigger and better” than it has ever been before.
Levi found fame when pitched his Reggae Reggae Sauce on BBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2007. He had been selling the source for more than 16 years before that – at food fairs and carnivals across the country.
He said Bristol was like a “second home” to him before his sauce business made the big time. He told ITV News West Country: “I started in 1975, when I started to come here once a month with my soundsystem.
“At one stage, it felt like this was a second home for me. So it’s really giving back to this wonderful city that’s given me so much – this is where I started my sauce business even before Dragon’s Den.”
Levi said: “I was a regular at St Pauls Carnival selling Reggae Reggae Sauce well before its launch on the BBC. Local Bristol shops in Stapleton Road supported me.
“I was also very welcomed in St Nicholas Market and I supplied many stalls including Jenny’s Caribbean takeaway and other shops in Clifton.
“When the sauce was eventually launched in 2007, St Pauls Carnival was one of the first carnivals to invite me to play live with my band.”
He will take over from current interim chair and long time board member Carole Johnson who will resume her role as vice chair.
Executive director of St Pauls Carnival LaToyah McAllister-Jones said: “We’re really excited to be welcoming Levi to the St Pauls Carnival family. He brings with him such rich experience, his guidance and counsel as chair of the board will be invaluable.
“It’s been a tough few years for everyone living through the pandemic and after two years of not being able to put on carnival we can’t wait to come back with a booming bass in 2022.
“I have no doubt Levi will play a key role in what will be a huge celebration for everyone in Bristol.”
Levi added: “I can’t wait to get started. I have a long time love for Bristol having sold my sauce here in the early days. Carnival culture has always been central to my experience and business – it’s the perfect blend of music and food – two things I am very passionate about.
St Pauls Carnival is not running this year due to Covid restrictions but is planned to return in 2022.
There will be an online event this year – ‘Global Carnival: a cultural evolution’ – which will include a streamed panel debate bringing representatives together from four global carnivals, St Lucia, Notting Hill, Trinidad & Tobago and St Paul on Saturday 3 July – the traditional day of carnival in Bristol.