A COUPLE who have been vegan for more than 25 years have decided to open an entirely plant-based shop.

Rob White, 46, and his partner Claire Sedgwick, 47, who live near Queen’s Park in Brighton, are soon to open Captain Pig in Church Street in North Laine.

It will be the first shop to exclusively sell plant-based goods in the area.

The name comes in tribute to their late rescued Staffy called Reg, who was often nicknamed “Captain” and “Pig”.

Rob, a school caretaker, said: “Since going vegan it really changed my life.

“Back when I first went vegan we didn’t have nearly as many options as we do now.

“If you didn’t want meat you would just have chips but there are so many different choices now.

“We are both really into it for animal welfare reasons, environmental reasons, and it’s really nice to be able to do this together and sell all the different plant-based options you can have now.

“It’s also good to be able to develop this shop as a sort of tribute to our dog Reg. He was a Staffy and we often called him ‘Pig’ because he used to make little grunting noises like one.”

The new store will provide grab-and-go-food, and stock typical groceries including fresh fruit and veg, vegan cheese and setian, a popular non-meat equivalent for making burgers.

They will also provide a refill service where customers can come and fill up containers with staples such as rice and cereal, and other household goods, to avoid using plastic.

Rob said: “It can still be quite hard when selling food to keep away from plastic, but whenever there is an opportunity we always make sure we can prevent using it.”

Rob and Clare realised there were no exclusive vegan shops in North Laine so when the lease came up, they decided to be the first to open one.

Rob said: “It’s pretty amazing that Brighton, which was I think voted the vegan capital of Europe not that long ago, lacks purely vegan food shops in the city centre.

“There aren’t any in North Laine so we thought this would be a good start.”

The shop used to be home to a design and homeware store called Unlimited.

But since taking over the couple are making it a vibrant, colourful, vegan foodie’s favourite.

Claire, a vet nurse, said: “A lot of the health shops you see in town have sort of a green and white theme going.

“But we thought we would use bold colours to just stand out a bit. The idea for our logo came pretty quick because of Reg, and we got a local tattoo artist, Cheryl Day from Inky Swallows, to design it. It’s a dog and it’s called Captain Pig so it’s just something a bit different, and we have our own story behind it.”

The couple recently promoted their shop-to-be at the Vegan Festival up at the Level in Brighton.

Claire, said: “We had such a good response when we were handing out our flyers for Captain Pig at the festival. People seemed really interested and seemed really keen to come along when it opens. And they were really curious about our logo. It will be really good once we get it up and running.”

Rob and Claire do not have a set opening date as of yet, but they hope to be ready to open within the next couple of months.