Detroit woman shares her heritage with her community through her businesses

Mayra Torres came to Detroit about 10 years ago

Just off Vernor Highway at Ferdinand Street is Lotus Essences and ArteSano Cafe & Juice Bar, both owned by Mayra Torres.

DETROIT – Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month and Local 4 is celebrating a Mexican-American success story on Detroit’s west side.

RELATED: Here’s why Hispanic Heritage Month starts in the middle of September

Just off Vernor Highway at Ferdinand Street is Lotus Essences and ArteSano Cafe & Juice Bar, both owned by Mayra Torres.

Torres and her husband immigrated from Mexico. The couple made footwear in Mexico until the economic crash and were forced to move to Detroit in 2010.

“I feel very proud that Detroit welcomed us with arms wide open,” Torres said “It’s a beautiful part and it motivates me.”

It was about that time that Torres had the idea to open a place for women and a place for healthy eating in their new community.

“It started nine years ago. I was looking for a more healthy lifestyle for me and my kids,” Torres said. “First, I started with my family and friends, and now I feel very proud of also sharing it with my community.”

But Torres wasn’t done. For years, she’d also wanted to help women in her neighborhood feel good and look good, so she opened Lotus Essence next door.

“To me it was something very important, very emotive to be able to help other women,” Torres said.

Both shops have now become staples in southwest Detroit, and during the pandemic, it was those regular customers that kept her afloat after being closed for three months. But the shops also have their share of new comers too.

“I feel very grateful with the neighborhood, with our customers,” Torres said. "I don’t know what would have been during this time

Most of all, she’s grateful she gets to honor her heritage by sharing it with the community.

“It’s gratifying to see how we’re a minority that’s growing in a beautiful way,” Torres said. “I feel very so grateful when I see Hispanics in politics, Hispanics in art, in science -- wow. It’s pride. It’s Hispanic pride.”

MORE: Hispanic Heritage

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.