A FAMILIAR face on Taunton's High Street is swapping her florist's apron for chef's whites.

Charlotte Smart will be pitching up in a horsebox converted into the Gourmet Salad Box just metres from where she used to work on a flower stall.

She will be serving up vegetarian, vegan and gluten free salads, sides and cakes, all homemade using local produce.

Charlotte, 36, was motivated by the death of her brother - and difficulties in finding gluten free options on the go when working in the town.

She is opening the hatch next month after her initial plans to start in April were scuppered by lockdown.

In the meantime, Charlotte has been running a delivery service in the Taunton, Bridgwater and Weston-super-Mare areas, with the assistance of husband Leighton, who acts as her driver despite continuing to work full time during the crisis.

"I made the decision just over a year ago to follow my dreams instead of always talking about them," said Charlotte.

"The sudden loss of my only brother, James, made me realise life can be so short, so I made the decision that if I'm going to do something, now's the time.

"I've been passionate in the kitchen from such an early age, I used to work in the pub and restaurant trade and it's never left me.

"I've always cooked meals from scratch using quality ingredients and I love to bake cakes of all sorts."

She added: "The salad box came about due to me being gluten intolerant and eating healthily, and over the years there are a lot of people who suffer in silence with intolerances and allergies.

"I wanted to produce salads that were gluten free, vegetarian with vegan options that look fantastic and had plenty of taste, which I've not been able to find in Taunton at lunchtimes.

"All the salads are made by myself along with most of the sides but I do use a few local suppliers for certain items

Gourmet Salad Box is launching on Wednesday, July 8 behind the Market House from Tuesdays to Saturdays, along with a delivery service on Friday and Saturday evenings.