This is Javier's Mom, Araminta Munoz . She is the inspiration behind these exciting dishes.
"Our History" by Brian
Javier and I have been friends since October 2002. I met Javier through a mutual friend and we got to know each other through our group of friends. Javier had a Colombia Folklore dance group who used to practice their dance routine in the auditorium at St. Joseph’s Health Care London, London Ontario, where I was employed. Once we got know each other over a short period of time, Javier asked if he could move in with me knowing that I had an extra bedroom in my apartment that I was considering to rent out. Javier wanted to live in an English speaking environment that would assist him in improving his speech and grammar. At that time Javier was working for the Delta Hotel in London Ontario, and also worked as waiter in a Latin restaurant. Javier invited me several times to have dinner at Paula’s Latin restaurant. I started to experience the Latin culture and the different flavors of the food and the home environment typical of the Latin community. Through this experience I found a passion wanting Javier and I to eventually open a restaurant sometime in the future.
In November 2002 I was offered a position at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox. Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I accepted the position and offered the invitation to Javier to move with me if that was something that he was interested in. Javier decided to move with me to build a new life and to discover what job opportunities might be available to him in the Comox Valley. We moved to the Island in January 2003. We continued to live together to support each other and to build a life that would assist us in living a comfortable lifestyle.
In the spring of 2003 Javier and I considered opening up a small Latin restaurant and we looked at a vacant unit located on Church St. Comox across the street from St. Peter’s Anglican Church, which is now known as “The Church Street Pizzeria”. There was no kitchen faculties and we didn’t have the financial resources to build a kitchen and open up a restaurant. We made the decision to place our dreams on hold until we felt the time was right for us.
During the summer, Javier’s mother Araminta Munoz came to visit us from London, Ontario. She would cook different Colombian dishes, such as Empanadas, Tamales, Arepas, and more. We shared Araminta’s dishes with our friends and they enjoyed the food so much that they suggested that we should sell this food to the public. This is when Javier decided to apply to the Farmers Market to sell Colombian food.
In the spring of 2019 I had made the decision to retire after working in health care for over twenty-seven years of combined service between London, Ontario and Comox, British Columbia. I made the decision to retire in August 2019.
In early July, Javier and I were driving in town and we were talking about the Farmers Market in downtown Courtenay where he was selling his Latin food, and how popular his food was at the market. Customers asked him why he stopped selling his food at the Saturday market and shared how much he is missed. In that moment I had this fleeting thought that went through my mind, and I shared it with Javier “maybe it's time for us to reconsider opening that restaurant”. I almost gasped when I realized what I had said to Javier knowing the financial and time commitments in running a restaurant and what that would entail. Now it’s becoming a reality and our dream is being realized.