AN EXOTIC fruit seller who has worked with big name celebrities in the world of showbiz is set to transform a warehouse into a “tropical oasis” shop.

Colin Bannell, 32, from Billericay, has been running My Exotic Fruit since 2014 and his firm has supplied fruits for ITV’s I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here and to Khloe Kardashian.

Now, he is about to take the plunge and launch an “immersive and educational, Rainforest Café-like shop” in Oaklands Farm Industrial Estate, in Billericay, for people to come down and visit.

Echo: Owner - Colin BannellOwner - Colin Bannell (Image: My Exotic Fruit)

He will be selling exotic fruit from across the globe, including the likes of Dragon Fruit and African Cherry.

The 32-year-old said: “I took on and signed the lease of a disused warehouse on the premises at the start of September.

“My team of 20 and I are planning our vision of what’s going to be a big, bold, and attractive tropical oasis in the middle of the south Essex countryside.

“As well as being a place for people to buy all kinds of fresh produce, such as apples and potatoes, it’s going to be interactive so kids can learn all about the different fruits.

“Fingers crossed we can open up before Christmas - if not, early 2024.”

Before My Exotic fruit, Colin worked as a barman at Stock Brook Country Club, in Queens Park Avenue, making cocktails.

He developed an interest in exotic fruits and then jetted off to Thailand in 2013 for a research trip...followed by 14 more trips to Asia.

He left the country club and started up his mobile tiki bar that provided cocktails containing the tropical produce.

This led to many opportunities, including providing products for TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex.

Colin discovered the demand for exotic fruits and decided to launch the business in 2014.

In 2016, the company created tropical soursop fruit cocktails to support the UK launch of Kocktails with Khloe, by Khloe Kardashian.

Echo: Client - Khloe Kardashian Client - Khloe Kardashian (Image: PA)

Recently, the firm supplied all the fruits to I’m a Celebrity... when it was filmed in Gwrych Castle, Abergele, Wales.

Colin added: “I have to pinch myself with all the amazing opportunities it has provided me.

“It’s been a wild journey but wouldn’t change it for the world.”