A new restaurant in Grand Rapids' Creston business district has done more than bring the area its only Mexican restaurant -- it has also brought jobs. La Huasteca, owned by Jose and Flor Torres, opened last week with three employees filling existing positions, and more jobs to come as the eatery grows.
Flor Torres, 30, says she decided to bring authentic, fresh Mexican cuisine to the neighborhood (1811 Plainfield Ave. NE, next to Screaming Needle Tattoo) after attending the business management program at Grand Rapids Community College. Jose, 31, who owns and operates Torres Tire Shop (830 Lafayette Ave. NE), already has several years' experience running his own business, and that gave them the confidence to start a second venture.
"We serve authentic Mexican food," says Flor Torres. "Everything we make, we cook from scratch. We buy the meat in bulk and cut it ourselves. How much fresher can you get than that?"
The restaurant hired a full-time cook and a prep cook, plus a server. Flor is also a server and is on the premises to welcome guests. The small eatery's focus is on take-out orders, but also has space to seat 15 diners.
Both Jose and Flor were born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when they were nine years old. They've lived in Grand Rapids over 20 years. Flor named the restaurant after a waterfall in Mexico. The family traveled there two years ago to baptize their youngest child and "fell in love with the place," Flor says.
Restaurant hours: Mon. - Thurs., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 10 to midnight.
Source: Flor Torres, La Huasteca
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor