A forward-thinking businessman from Essex has been given the go-ahead to open 25 discount supermarkets in Essex that will serve the Asian community.

37-year-old Ahmed Mirza from Southend came up with the HALALDI brand idea in 2015 after realising how expensive halal meat and other food items had become – his stores will be located in all four corners of the county.

Speaking to Southend News Network, Mr Mirza explained that his stores will serve both the Asian and wider communities who are looking for reasonably-priced Halal meat.

He said: ‘For as long as I can remember, it has been difficult to find affordable halal meat in Essex, while non-halal meat is literally available everywhere.’

‘HALALDI is all about bringing halal food items to everyone in Essex, and hopefully beyond in the future. I want people to experience the high-quality and immaculate standards that come with it.’

The first HALALDI stores will open at the end of 2016 in Southend, Basildon, Canvey and Clacton, with the others to come in 2017.

This isn’t the first time that an entrepreneur has tried to set up a chain of ethnic discount supermarkets in the area.

In 2014, financial conditions meant that Irving Cohen’s planned chain of discount kosher stores were scrapped – he recently hinted that a pilot YIDL supermarket may open in 2017.