IT was the first 100 per cent vegan food store to open in Bournemouth, Sunrise Organics is our Trader of the Week.

The owner of Sunrise Organics, Mark Lewis, said they offer a personal experience and have built up a partnership with fellow vegan café Mad Cucumber in The Triangle.

Sunrise Organics offers a 100 per cent vegan experience and all of its products are 80 per cent organic as well.

Mr Lewis, who set up the business with his then-partner in 2015, said getting the business to where it is today has involved a lot of hard work, but he was excited to improve in the future.

He said: “We have always stayed with our message of being 100 per cent vegan.

“One of the other things we started in 2016 was having zero waste produce and we were the first in the area to do that.

“Looking after the environment is important as well as looking after ourselves, so we were really pleased to start that.”

Mr Lewis said he had been vegetarian for some time before starting the business and had issues shopping.

He said: “It required reading a lot of labels and you weren’t always sure, we thought why not just start a shop selling purely just vegan products and it was fantastic.

“It’s been a lot of hard work. Being a food store, we were lucky enough to stay open throughout the pandemic and we have a very loyal customer base.

“It’s been a bumpy road over the last two years and there will be challenges ahead for us.

“We have a lot of competition with supermarkets. It’s a two-edged sword, they help more people become vegan but the quality of products may not be as good.

“We still have to look ahead with caution and sharpen up our business practices.

“One thing we don’t do is deliveries so that’s something we have got to look at.”

Sunrise Organics has four members of staff including Mr Lewis, and the owner urged people to think about where people were spending their money as we emerge from the pandemic.

He added: “We are happy to give advice, all the staff here are vegan and we know what you need to do.

“We are open seven days a week, a small, independent business and we are open to suggestions, we can order things in.”

Sunrise Organics can be found at 9 St Michael’s Road, Bournemouth.