An entrepreneur from Wellingborough was delighted when business guru and Dragons' Den TV star Theo Paphitis singled her our for praise to his nearly half-a-million followers on Twitter recently.
Sherina White's Gourmet Dinner Lady venture was selected by retail magnate Paphitis as one of his six Small Business Sunday weekly winners on Twitter, raising the profile of her gourmet platter and grazing table business to some 487,000 people who follow Paphitis on the social media platform.
The BBC TV star re-tweeted a post from Sherina and invited his substantial following to 'welcome it with a retweet' as a congratulations for being picked as a winner.
Sherina said she was "over the moon" to find out about the Twitter boost on July 21 and added: "I launched Gourmet Dinner Lady last year, having decided to spend more time at home with my five children, after a successful career as a backing singer which took me around the world.
"In just 12 months the business has grown massively.
"It is great to have support from Theo and that he has recognised my hard work and helped spread the word about what I’m doing at Gourmet Dinner Lady to his huge following.”
The weekly Small Business Sunday initiative, set up by Paphitis in 2010, has now supported more than 2,500 UK small businesses by giving them a social media shout-out.
Sherina launched Gourmet Dinner Lady last July and the business has grown from there, with Sherina now supplying platters, grazing tables and boxes to celebrities, corporate events, weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.
Described as a passionate foodie, the 39-year-old Sherina started out in the music industry as a 17-year-old and went on to enjoy a successful 21-year career in the business, supporting the likes of Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue, James Morrison, Florence & The Machine, Gorillaz and Rag'n'Bone Man.
She spent much of her adult life on the road after performing on many a music stage but one day it dawned on her when departing a tour bus – heavily pregnant with her fifth child – that as great as things had been, she needed to do something which would allow her to be at home more.
After visiting a friend who lives in Los Angeles last January, where a lot of soul-searching took place, she returned to the UK with a new-found sense of purpose and a resolve to start her own company. By June, the Gourmet Dinner Lady business was up and running.
The decision to make food the focus of her business was an easy one, she says, as her experience of it is vast. She has tasted many types of cuisine from across the globe and enjoys everything from quintessentially English pub grub to Singaporean street food.
It’s been a journey, she told the www.shecan365.com website – especially learning to balance family life with a husband, four teenagers and a toddler alongside running a business – but she is working steadily towards where she wants to be.
Her principal aim is to always remain true to the brand, producing "dining experiences that keep the sentiment of ‘the gathering’ as its heartbeat".
Paphitis, the chairman of Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new Small Business Sunday members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.
"My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS retweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings.
"I wish Sherina and Gourmet Dinner Lady every success.”
For more details about Gourmet Dinner Lady, visit the website www.gourmetdinnerlady.com