Online sales at oriental specialist Wing Yip are growing rapidly, buoyed by word of mouth recommendations, according to the company.

The internet store opened in 2004 and offers 900 ambient and non food lines compared with the full range of 2,500 sold at its four C&Cs.

Mail order manager John Turnbull said that turnover and shopper numbers at the internet store had risen by 85% and 70% respectively in the past 12 months.

The web shop had attracted wholesale and retail customers from Cornwall, Continental Europe and even the US, he added.

"We have not advertised the website, but word of mouth is strong from customers.

"We have had a lot of foreign customers from the start - from places where such items are hard to find."

Lines as diverse as noodles and own label speciality items such as Pu-Erh slimming tea are selling strongly. The range of non food products that are sold online, such as Japanese tea sets and Chinese decorations, is to be expanded.