The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

AVO Café Provides A Rewardingly Healthy Angle on Food

 AVO Cafe sits on the other end of The Islands central waterfall. The sun out along with shimmering water, this is a beautiful day in Carlsbad, California.
Holden Kopman
AVO Cafe sits on the other end of The Island’s central waterfall. The sun out along with shimmering water, this is a beautiful day in Carlsbad, California.

Sustenance, service and satisfaction are the three major Ss when dining in at a restaurant and thankfully, All Vegan Organic (AVO) Café possesses all three. AVO Café at 5808 Van Allen Way, Carlsbad is a local, family-run vegan restaurant that serves delicious and nutritious eats, while also aiming for sustainability and excellent customer service. This is in the noble attempt to change customers’ perspectives on vegan food as a whole.

Mark and Sher Kopman, the co-owners, began in the food industry as a sauce business in Toronto, Canada, branded Rawfoodz. In 2013, they moved their business to California, also re-branding the name. On Sept. 19, 2022, Mark and Sher opened a shop in Carlsbad less than a year after closing their Santa Monica location. 

With their business in a food court, the Kopmans had to find something unique that could set them apart from the restaurants surrounding them. Not only do they sell common café items like coffee and baked goods, but they ensure that each menu item is 100 percent clean and unprocessed. This means they have incorporated organic and locally-sourced ingredients with no fillers or preservatives into their recipes. 

AVO’s popular “classic veggie burger” along with some organic veggie straws. The burger sits loaded with two of the cafe’s homemade sauces: Plant Dip and Ving Hot Sauce.

 Alongside this, AVO Café has strived to follow the path of eco-consciousness, using all sorts of compostable packaging. This paid off in April, as the café received the California Green Business Badge awarded by the mayor of Carlsbad. The possession of this certification is of high honor within the food service community as many customers prefer to support an earth-friendly business over one that is not. 

Co-owner Sher Kopman, who was there to claim the award, describes the lead up to reaching this achievement. 

“We had a representative come in, and she said we were the ‘low hanging fruit,’ meaning our business was likely to soon be green certified,” Sher said. “The process was pretty simple as we already use compostable packaging, organic fruits and vegetables and eco-friendly cleaning supplies, so next thing we knew, we were getting certified.”

Like the majority of their neighboring restaurants, AVO Café has worked its hours around those of surrounding corporations in order to maximize customer frequency. Additionally, AVO offers catering options to further accommodate these companies.

Holding a five-star rating on Google, Happy Cow and Yelp, this local business has to be doing something right. Across the multitude of reviews, one reason for their stellar appraisals stands out from the rest – their customer service. The owners will go out of their way for customers – from providing pets with water on a hot day to giving out baked goods as a “thanks for your patience” following long waiting periods.

Mark and Sher Kopman, the co-owners of the establishment, stand near the front of the cafe. Behind them is where the two prepare various bowls, salads and burgers.

AVO Café has had its fair share of customers from various surrounding cities who regularly make a return to the business not only due to its hospitable service but also from the contentment that follows each meal. With their use of fresh ingredients, the owners make certain that patrons can leave still feeling great.

Customer Matt Roth, who regularly travels to the café from La Mesa over 45 minutes away, says that the business has him returning time after time.

“I was selling a house for one of my real estate clients in Carlsbad and, since I’m vegan, I used my Happy Cow app to find vegan restaurants nearby – AVO Café was one of the first to pop up!” Roth writes. “The Caesar Salad is ‘TO LIVE FOR,’ the food is always fresh and delicious and the sauces and dressings are homemade. I also love the fact that the business is family-owned.”

The baked good and merchandise display at AVO Cafe. Some items include their famous banana chocolate muffin, chocolate chip shortbread and carrot cake.

The Kopmans saw the lack of vegan and even organic options in the Southern California area and sought to fill in that gap. This ties in with the concept of their name “AVO,” an acronym and double entendre representing strictly vegan organic food and avocados, which are frequently used throughout the menu. They continue to stand behind the policy that veganism is yet another way to stay sustainable as the reduction of animal killings will lessen the release of methane gas into the atmosphere.

“If more businesses were aware of their carbon footprint, it would make all the difference in how the future deals with environmental and waste issues,” Sher said.

AVO Café offers a variety of foods from various different cultures and has united those who are and who are not vegan to enjoy nutritious, tasty and rewarding meals. The morals that this small business follows may one day inspire other establishments to follow suit to make this world a cleaner place.

“Here at AVO Café we are immersed in our community, getting to know people that want to be involved in our kind of lifestyle,” said the other co-owner Mark Kopman. “For everyone out there that is afraid of healthy food, we’ve got many delicious options that taste like the real deal, so come to AVO!”

AVO Café’s current hours are:

Monday-Friday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, 5 PM – 7 PM

Saturday: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Sunday: CLOSED


Mark and Sher are the parents of Holden Kopman.

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    Natalie RoebuckApr 30, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    So impressed with this article. I have dined at Avo Cafe on numerous occasions. Unfortunately I don’t live in Carlsbad, quite far away in Toronto Canada. Wish we had an Avo Cafe where I live. Very well written article, so true!