More than anyone Liz Josey knows that you are what you eat. Six years ago she weighed nearly 13 stone – hard to believe when you look at her now.

But Liz discovered a new way of eating which lead her to a new way of life – running Bournemouth’s first independent 100 per cent vegan lifestyle and food store which opened up earlier this month.

“I was sick of being ill and feeling ill and did everything, all the slimming clubs, but nothing really changed,” she says.

That changed when she read the book Fit For Life by Harvey Diamond and began to understand how her digestion system worked.

Liz started consuming raw foods and juicing and lost two stone in just over two months. Continuing with the eating programme helped her to lose two more, in a longer time period.

“Basically that just set me on a nutritional path and different trajectory,” she says.

Liz is a trained lifecoach and holistic beauty therapist and ran successful programmes when she was living in Glastonbury, Britain’s New Age capital.

But, after meeting up with her partner, Mark Lewis, she decided what she really wanted to do was follow her passion to lead as vegan a life as possible.

So, as Mark was looking to work for himself, they decided to open Sunrise Organics and were overwhelmed by the response.

“On the first day we had more than 200 people and many of them have already returned as repeat customers,” says Liz.

The most popular item they sell are Fry’s pies and sausages: “I think that’s because we’re in an area where a lot of people pass by on their way home and just fancy buying something for dinner,” she says.

She loves being a shopkeeper, saying, “My granny was one, she ran a hat shop.”

Liz is determined that Sunrise Organics should become a community hub with a noticeboard for therapists to post information and events which she and Mark will run from the store.

A passionate juicer, she realised that many people still aren’t sure how to process food this way and will be running juicing classes as well as other wellbeing courses.

However, she says: “We are not here to bang on to people about being vegan or vegetarian, it’s about offering something different. Because we are in charge of buying and ordering we can offer a bespoke service, make personal orders for people and help them hunt down products they want.”

Along with the plethora of foodstuffs they also sell household requisites as well as body and baby care products, every single one of them vegan and nongenetically modified.

And they are already learning what customers want. “We hadn’t originally decided to sell organic fruit and vegetables but so many customers have asked for it that we’ve decided to look into a supplier for that,” she says.

Of course she could have opened up an internet store but, says Liz, that would not be right for the business. “It’s the personal service we want to give,” she says.

“Where would be the fun in just boxing up stuff into parcels?”

  • Sunrise Organics, 9 St Michael’s Road, Bournemouth.