Sushi bar on a roll in Doncaster

A chef with a passion for Japanese cuisine is celebrating his first year of business in Doncaster.

The Bentley-based Sushi Magic Bar was founded by sushi chef Miroslav Kerata and since transforming the former retail unit into a haven for Japanese food, the entrepreneur has perfected a range of traditional sushi dishes and even successfully developed his own Japanese ice cream.

Kerata decided to launch his company in Doncaster when he realised there was a growing appetite in the city for Sushi and after successfully launching a similar business in Sheffield with a friend, he called on help from the Launchpad business support programme to bring the venture to Doncaster.

Working alongside business start-up adviser Debbie Richardson, Kerata took part in a series of free training workshops, helping him to learn how to budget and manage the cashflow in his business as well as exploring ways of building and growing his customer base.

Despite facing a 40% increase in his running costs over the past 12 months, the Sushi Magic Bar has gone from strength to strength. It employs four members of staff who produce hundreds of sushi dishes each month.

Kerata said: “Sushi has become a very popular dish in recent years and it’s something that I’ve become passionate about. I’ve always liked the idea of working for myself, but I knew that for the business to succeed, finding the right location would be vital.

“I felt Doncaster offered a great location. The premises were perfect for my needs, and I realised that when it came to sushi, the city offered a lot of untapped potential. Having previously tried to run my own business, I knew that it would be a big commitment. I spent time finding out what help was available and I contacted Launchpad for advice.

“Debbie and the Launchpad team have provided a great deal of help and support. The courses I’ve taken part in have helped me to run my business more effectively, from planning and predicting demands on the services to managing and developing staff.  It’s given me the confidence to believe my business could succeed, and I’m now looking to grow and develop my ideas further.”

Richardson said: “It was clear from the time that we spent together that he had a clear picture of what he wanted to achieve. Drawing on the skills and knowledge he developed working as a sushi chef, he had developed an accurate idea of what he wanted his business to look like, but he was acutely aware that launching a new business not only means being able to deliver a good product but keeping in control of his finances and building a customer base for his business.

“The Launchpad programme combines regular training sessions, designed to give new and aspiring entrepreneurs the best possible start on their business journey, as well as one-to-one sessions, helping them to overcome specific challenges or problems they are facing. When launching any new business, it’s important to spend time researching your idea, and it’s clear from the success he has enjoyed – having grown the business from an idea to one that has seen him build a team of staff – that his business has a bright future ahead of it.”