16th December 2010, 11:20am
TV star Karl serves up new website for his cookery school
Karl Sergisons new website A chef, delicatessen owner and star of a hit BBC series will soon be serving up cookery classes online after benefitting from free business support from the University of Lincoln.

Karl "Sergi" Sergison, the grocer in the BBC's 'Turn Back Time – The High Street', has just launched his own dedicated website, karlsergison.com, where he will feature blogs, recipes and video tutorials.

Karl, who trained as a chef at London's Dorchester Hotel, has run Sergi's Deli in Spalding, Lincolnshire, for the past five years. He also operates a 24-seat restaurant on the premises and earlier this year established his own cookery school there.

Despite his experience as a chef, restaurateur and businessman, Karl was keen to get some pointers on how best to market his new venture. He approached the University of Lincoln's Robust Futures team and signed up for their one-day Business Briefing workshop and six-week Business Inspiration course, which are being offered as part of the Innovation Advice and Guidance programme.

Karl said: "In the cookery school we do everything from traditional English food right through to French, Italian and North African cuisine. We have a very professional chef – me! I heard about the Business Inspiration course through a friend. I was going to go along to the first one in spring but then the BBC series came along and I had to postpone because of filming. I started the course in October and I found it invaluable. By the end of it, we'd decided a website would be an excellent way to promote the cookery school and build on the momentum from the TV series."

The new website, which features a cartoon depiction of Karl, launched in early December and over the next few months will be populated with blogs, recipes, photos and videos from the cookery school. It will also help Karl to cater for the legions of fans he has acquired through the Turn Back Time series.

Innovation Advice and Guidance is a government-funded business support package which is being delivered in Lincolnshire by the University's Lincoln Business School. Their Robust Futures project offers small and medium-sized enterprises in Lincolnshire free guidance from Business School experts, successful local entrepreneurs and economic development specialists.

Along with the free one-day Business Briefing workshops, the package includes the free six-week Business Inspiration course, which covers key aspects of running a small business, from strategic planning through to managing finances. The content was developed by Professor David Rae, an internationally-renowned expert on entrepreneurship.

Since completing the course, Karl has been introduced to a web development company which has created his website and a graduate intern has now been recruited from the University to produce video content.

Veronica Cini from the Robust Futures team at the University of Lincoln said: "Karl became a firm favourite on Turn Back Time because people could see how much he cares about his customers, his business and his family. As well as being a genuinely warm, larger-than-life character, he's also a tremendous salesman with a firm belief in the virtues of Britain’s independent high street shops.
"His new website will open up his deli, restaurant and cookery school to a whole new audience, giving fans he’s acquired through the TV series the chance to keep in touch.
"We're very pleased to have been able to offer Karl help in developing new methods for marketing his business and look forward to seeing him and his cookery school flourish."

Innovation Advice and Guidance is part of Solutions for Business, the Government's portfolio of publicly funded business support to help companies start and grow. To find out more about Solutions for Business, call Business Link on 0845 0586644 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/eastmidlands

Visit Karl's new website at: www.karlsergison.com
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