Few people would dare start a business during this time of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.
Peter Fiesel is one of them.
The young Parksville entrepreneur decided to revive the former grocery store of mom Getchie, who opened it 10 years ago and closed it in 2016.
Fiesel is re-opening the Kabayan store on Saturday, July 25, in downtown Parksville at 138 Middleton Ave. He feels there is a demand for Filipino foods in the area.
“The way I’ve seen things progress here on the Island, the Filipino community has grown,” said Fiesel. “I know a lot of them can’t drive themselves to Nanaimo whether it being due to the fact they are working three jobs to support themselves here while also supporting their families back home in the Philippines. Some of them are newcomers. We’re here to help those people and everyone in between who miss the taste of home and for those who want to try something new. As we’ve seen during this pandemic, people need to eat so that’s why I decided to do this now.”
Kabayan is a Filipino term that means fellow countrymen. The store will feature foods, particularly those coming from the Philippines. They include spices, noodles, pastries, bread, canned goods, rice, chips, frozen fish like bangus (milkfish), longganissa (a Filipino sausage similar to a chorizo) and many more.
Fiesel said they have put in place measures to comply with Island Health’s guidelines to keep customer safe by spacing out the items on sale in the store and also providing hand sanitizer.
“I am excited to open the store again,” said Fiesel.