A Taste of Mexico in Parksville

Oswaldo and Shiela Aviles recently opened La Vida Vegan in Parksville. - Lissa Alexander photo
Oswaldo and Shiela Aviles recently opened La Vida Vegan in Parksville.
— image credit: Lissa Alexander photo


Oswaldo Aviles and his wife are nurturing a baby in more ways than one.The couple is behind La Vida Vegan, a new take-out food and juice bar in Parksville that makes fresh, Mexican influenced food and juices as well as produces their own twist on the fermented tea drink, Kombucha.

Aviles said their business, that makes their vegan products from scratch, is their baby."This is something we conceived, and it's our kid, our baby. It's something we will make grow up, to make better for society and for us."To say Aviles has done it all in his 32 years, seems like an understatement.

He grew up in Monterrey, Mexico and at the age of 14 he was a manager in the family car wash business. At 14 he also opened his first restaurant, serving tacos.  He then moved to Yucatan at 18 where he worked as the CEO of a four star hotel. The hotel had a catering business so Aviles got some more experience in the food industry.

"I had the opprtunity to work with an amazing chef and to give to my town a high standard of quality," he said.

From there Aviles opened a scuba diving school and also worked in the farming business.Aviles has also had his fair share of education.  He studied marketing in Mexico and got two diploma's, one in restaurant and hotel management and the other in tourism development. He also has a masters degree in business administration which he completed in Madrid, Spain.

Aviles met his wife Sheila in Victoria working in a restaurant and they decided they were ready to take the plunge and create their own business.They moved to the area in February of this year and opened up their La Vida Vegan food cart in April.

They have just recently opened up their take-out food and juice bar in Parksville (with a couple of tables for sitting in) where Oswaldo makes the food and Sheila runs the front of house. They offer gluten-free handmade tacos, tamales and raw pizzas, free of preservatives, refined sugar, canned products and trans fats.

They also make a variety of blended juices, their own Rawnola bars and chili truffles.And besides this baby, the couple is expecting another one, currently growing in Sheila's belly.Aviles said he wants the business to set a good example for their child, to make life better for society and better for them.

"We want to share with the community what we would like to offer our child," Aviles said.

Visit La Vida Vegan at 124 Middleton Ave or on their website



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