BOURNEMOUTH'S vegan health food store is closing after nine years of trading.

Sunrise Organics, branded by customers as' a shining star in an otherwise hostile environment,' has announced it will close in late July.

Opened by Mark Lewis in 2015, he said: "I am very sad; Sunrise Organics has been a part of my life for so long.

"We've had some ups and downs, but it's a part of me, and I'm part of it.

"I need to be realistic and lead with my head instead of my heart.

"I have reached a point where my physical, financial, and mental resources are pretty much spent."

Mark said the shop's lease is up in July, which triggered the closure, saying, 'Competition is growing and now feels like the right time to close up shop.'

According to Mark, the decline of Bournemouth Town Centre was a factor that impacted the success of Sunrise Organics.

He said: "I think the state Bournemouth has got into is tragic.

"How the town has declined in the last few years is extraordinary, it feels like it has been abandoned by authorities.

"Independent shops bring fun and colour to a town, and now there's only a couple left."

Bournemouth Echo:

Large supermarkets introducing large vegan ranges have been attributed to a decline in footfall to the store.

Mark said: "I think supermarkets have had a huge impact on us, they recognised it as a fantastic revenue stream and jumped on it.

"We just can't keep up with them, and we can't get the stock at the same price they do."

The store will continue to trade as normal until they close in July.

Mark said that he would be interested in selling the business to someone with a passion for the business concept.

He said: "I would love Sunrise to get a fresh breath of air and get reinvigorated; we will call it Sunrise version two.

"If someone wanted to take it on, develop the shop online and move location, there is still a huge amount of potential for it."

Mark made a point of thanking his loyal customers by saying: "Thank you to everyone who supported us over the years.

"It's been an absolute pleasure."