A NEW vegan shop has opened for the community, after the owners claimed there was an ‘urgent need’ for it.

Ila Ahmed, 45, from Witham, runs Vegan and Organic Foods on her own, providing a variety of products for the community.

The shop opened on March 18, and although she has never owned one before, hopes to bring dedicated vegan, organic and gluten-free produce to the community, after claiming it is what the town needs.

Ila said: “It has been about six months I had been planning for and sourcing the produce.

"I have a passion for healthy vegan, organic and gluten-free products, and felt like there was an urgent need for this type of produce in the local community, so that is how the idea formed.

“So, I started to work as we wanted to give the people locality and options for them.”

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The shop sells a wide range of items, including food, hygiene and cleaning products.

Ila added: “We sell a range of vegan, organic and gluten-free produce such as ready meals, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, dry produce, plant based, vegan and lactofree dairy produce, organic juices, as well as personal hygiene and cleaning produce too.”

Ila explained how she is amazed with the response so far from the community, saying that it is because people have waited so long for this type of shop.

She said: “The response from people been amazing.

“They been waiting long for this sort of produce, that is specialized in vegan, organic and gluten free.”

Now, she hopes to keep on improving the business, and are always looking for help and advice on ways to make everything better.

Ila said: “We encourage everyone to come and browse our products and give us feedback as to how we can improve.”

Residents can find shop at 15 The Grove, in Witham, and it is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9.30 to 5pm, and is closed on Sundays.