A VEGAN pop-up shop in Basingstoke is returning to Festival Place this Sunday after being forced to close because of the pandemic.

Vegan Fiesta, run by Sparkle Vegan Events, will host its pop-up shop inside the shopping centre this Sunday from 11am to 4pm.

The pop-up shop, which will be in a new location near Marks and Spencer in Bedford Square, will then return on the first Sunday of each month during the winter.

It launched its first pop-up shop in March 2020 but was forced to close during lockdown.

When restrictions eased it re-opened outside at The Amphitheatre, but is now moving back inside the shopping centre during the colder months.

The shop has a variety of stalls from small and local businesses offering food, cakes, deli, nut-based cheeses, natural skincare, jewellery, homeware, gifts, and artisan goods.

Customers can also buy plastic-free glitter tattoos and pick up free informative materials, as well as sample tasters and giveaways.

Sarah Zeneli, from Sparkle Vegan Events, said: “We have received fantastic feedback about our events so far, from the friendly atmosphere to the wonderful traders, so we can’t wait to open in our new home in the run-up to Christmas.”

Sarah, who was a vegetarian for 10 years before becoming vegan more than five years ago, said the shop gives local businesses selling vegan products the chance to showcase what they offer.

She launched her vegan business, which takes vegan products to events, festivals, and markets, having previously worked in event management, and said: “I wanted to do a job that aligned with my vegan values. I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s wonderful to give vegan friendly businesses the chance to showcase their products.

“For me it was the ethical reasons. I was vegetarian for 10 years and then found out about animal cruelty in the dairy and egg industry that I didn’t know and it shocked me. I decided to try it one month and thought I would give it a go and I have never looked back. It was the best decision I have ever made.”