New organic food market Liv will be encouraging people to give veganism a try ?but will serve meat dishes at its restaurant so carnivores feel at home.
The 鈥渉ealthy living department store鈥?will open next month in the old Argos. HMV and Rex building in Bold Street.
Once the £1m renovation of Radiant House is complete, it will include a market area, a deli counter, a bakery, a health and beauty section and a bakery.
Its 50-seat restaurant will look out onto Bold Street and will have an 鈥渆mphasis on delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes鈥?
But Ashleigh Coleman of Liv said: 鈥淲e don鈥檛 want to exclude anyone, and it鈥檚 difficult to find a group of friends who all have the same food preferences, so as well as vegetarian and vegan specialities we will include a few selected meat dishes too.?/p>
A 鈥榩ersonal shopping鈥?experience
LIV will have staff out and about on the shop floor to tell people about the products it is selling and encourage them to give vegan goods a try.
Ashleigh says she wants the shop to be 鈥渉igh-end but not elitist鈥?/p>
She said: 鈥淲e want the store to have an approachable welcoming feel because that鈥檚 what Bold Street is all about, so we鈥檒l have people at each of the stations talking to customers and advising them if that鈥檚 what they want. They鈥檒l be like personal shoppers.
鈥淎 lot of people are very passionate about veganism, but there are also a lot who just want to try it and find out more about it, so we鈥檒l be there to help them and steer them in the right direction. We want people to feel relaxed and that they can ask questions and not feel embarrassed or intimidated.?/p>
But they don鈥檛 want to price people out
Ashleigh added: 鈥淲e understand that customers have budgets so we鈥檝e kept that in mind with the pricing, but at the same time the growth of farmers markets shows people are prepared to pay a bit more for quality, for something they know where it鈥檚 come from, and to support independent producers.?/p>
Spice up your life
LIV鈥檚 food offerings will include fresh fruit and vegetables and cheese and deli products. There鈥檒l be chilled, fresh and frozen sections and plenty of packaged goods such as pasta sauces, as well as a health and beauty section with a range of vegan cosmetics.
And more unusually there鈥檒l be a self-service herbs and spices counter. Shoppers will be able to help themselves from dispensers before weighing their goods and printing off a price label.
Plan got a great reception
LIV has been developed by the team behind Knowsley-based Healthy Food Supplies as its first physical store.
The LIV chain could become a British equivalent of the popular American chain Whole Foods.
When the ECHO reported in February that Liv was opening, our Facebook page was inundated with comments from excited readers.
Ashleigh said: 鈥淗ealth and lifestyle have become such a big issue and people are appreciating them much more, so we hoped to get a positive reaction, but it went wild as soon as we first revealed our plan.
鈥淟IV isn鈥檛 just about healthy food and natural beauty products, we want to develop a community aspect too which I think are all a part of that lifestyle.?/p>
LIV also aims to support community projects and charities, including charities working with rough sleepers.