One of Leamington’s newest retailers which is putting Leamington on the vegan map will be making its debut at the town’s forthcoming food and drink extravaganza.

Plant-based delicatessen Fred & Virginia, which opened on Regent Street at the end of July, will be setting out its stall for this first time at Leamington Food and Drink Festival taking place in the Pump Room Gardens over the weekend of September 8 and 9.

It will be giving visitors the chance to experience the Fred & Virginia ethos and taste a selection of signature products, as well as offering advice on vegan and ‘free-from’ food.

The deli, which specialises in healthy food sourced from sustainable and ethical supplies, has enjoyed a bumper first month and is already collaborating with other businesses in the town centre.

It is now selling bespoke lunch boxes made by Coffee Architects in Warwick Street using some of its vegan and gluten-free plant-based ingredients.

Mother and daughter, Jacquie Monteith and Lauren Castle, who run Fred & Virginia, are looking forward to being part of the biggest event in the town’s calendar.

Jacquie said: “It’s such a massive opportunity for us.  Being there to support the town, forge new partnerships with other retailers and help put Leamington even more on the map are all things that are really important to us.

“From a vegan perspective, I do believe there are not that many offerings so us bringing that to Leamington gives the town more of a holistic presence.

“Our first month has been really outstanding and we have been overwhelmed at the support from customers and other local businesses.  We’ve had customers from Northampton, Nottingham and Manchester, and even Dublin, Italy and Australia!”

Fred & Virginia will be among a number of first-time exhibitors from the town including The Steam House, Stockpot Café, Slurp and Libertine Burgers.

The free-to-attend celebration of local and regional food is organised by BID Leamington with the support of businesses, and the wide range of exhibitors coupled with a packed programme of activities and entertainment attracts some 25,000 visitors.

Alison Shaw, BID Leamington project manager, said: “The festival is now in its 11th year and each time we look to attract new faces to the line-up so there is always something different to experience.

“Fred & Virginia has already made a big impression in the town by bringing something new to our high street and by getting involved in the local community.

“Fred & Virginia has already made a big impression in the town by bringing something new to our high street and by getting involved in the local community.

“Their collaboration with Coffee Architects is a fantastic example of the benefits of businesses in the town working together and is something we are always keen to encourage and support.”

BBC Apprentice winner Alana Spencer will be a famous face among this year’s 130 exhibitors with her Ridiculously Rich luxury traybakes.

Regular attractions will include demonstrations and Aubrey Allen’s ‘Home Cook of the Year’ competition in the Live Cookery Theatre, and the Kids Cookery School plus a host of live music.

For the first time, festivalgoers arriving by train will also be offered a free drink by organisers.

Full event details including the festival programme, which runs from 10am to 6pm on both days, can be found at www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk