One of the most appealing aspects of living in Mexico is the ease of opening businesses. During my life in the U.S., I opened several businesses and although not particularly difficult, it did take a lot of paperwork and filing and reporting.
Here, you open your business. Yes, you do have to make sure you are charging the VAT (which must be quoted as part of the price of any product or service). And there are a few other rules and regulations, depending on the type of business in which you’re engaged. But for the most part, shop owners and entrepreneurs here uniformly tell me how easy it is to get going.
Interestingly enough, it often means a lot of businesses open and are soon gone. Under-capitalized, under-marketed, simply not appealing? Often, I’m not quite sure but in the almost three years I’ve been here I’ve seen a lot of them come and go.
So I was very pleased to observe and be part of the success of a restaurant in Ajijic called Vegan Town.
The co-owners are a young couple, Tulu (pronounced Sulu, as in the Star Trek character) and Eddie. Tulu is the daughter of Laura, who manages a vegan restaurant, Ol-Lin, in San Antonio (a neighborhood in Chapala). Sulu studied nutrition in university. I met Tulu while she worked at Ol-Lin.
She and Eddie branched out and opened a small restaurant on the west side of Ajijic. A tiny place with two tables. They survived during the current crisis doing deliveries. And recently they’ve relocated to a larger location and expanded their hours to include breakfast.
Note from their signage above that they’re open six days a week, for twelve hours a day. And it’s just the two of them, with a little help in the kitchen.
The new location is a home. They live in part of it and have the restaurant in most of it. The (thankfully) large kitchen is like a big home kitchen in the U.S. or Canada.
Tulu makes amazing food, and clearly it’s made with love. You don’t do a business like this with all the hours and all the work and not love it.
It’s wonderful to see a young couple launching into a new venture, serving their customers and generally making a little part of the world a better place.
Not to mention having outstanding food! Check out these pizzas and these delighted customers (my neighbors!).