Arts

Mystic Valley Salon’s Spencer Woturski Offers an LGBTQIA+ Friendly Haircut Experience

By Jack Drees There is a new “Hair Therapist” in town, and his name is Spencer Woturski. He is the owner of Mystic Valley Salon, a spot for coiffures and caring. Located at the 888 Eastern Avenue shopping plaza, Mystic Valley Salon offers familiar beauty salon services. However, it also focuses on providing services to and creating a safe spot for the LGBTQIA+ community. Woturski regards Mystic Valley Salon as a “Safe Space.” A Safe Space is when a “business or entity is accepting to different varieties of people and their lifestyles. And we do not impose judgment to some of the things people are looking to do or change themselves,” says Woturski, himself a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to making customers feel great in regard to their hair on the outside, he wants customers of various backgrounds to feel pleased on the inside. The shop contains pride-themed material to symbolize the intention of visually welcoming everyone. Mystic Valley Salon opened in May 2022, to provide eco-friendly hair treatments, ranging from haircuts […]

Business

Community Spotlight: Moroccans bring business, women’s outreach, and culture to Malden

By Saliha Bayrak and Martha Bezzat As a group represented in the census, the exact number of people of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) descent is difficult to pinpoint in any given city. However, with specialty markets, restaurants, and more, they have an undeniable and active presence In Malden. The Malden Islamic Center, which “strongly believes in the importance of establishing good, strong and positive relationships with our community,” is one resource for followers of the MENA community’s predominant religion, Islam. The center and mosque offer five daily prayer services, as well as Friday and Eid prayer services “to accommodate the large Muslim community living in Malden and the surrounding areas.” One particularly large group from the MENA community, Moroccans, run businesses and organizations in Malden and, through them, share their expertise, values, and culture. Many Malden residents who originate from Morocco make an impact in their community through women’s outreach, special services, and cultural experiences. Souad Akib, Founder of American Association for Arab Women (AAAW) The idea for American Association for Arab Women […]

Business

Coffee for a Community: Choices abound in Malden Center

By Nikita Sampath In Malden, there is a cup of coffee for everybody. The city’s downtown has five spots to grab a cuppa joe, all within a short walk of one another. Each spot tells a story about the people who live here. Tous Le Jour Right across from the Malden Station on Commercial Street is Tous le Jour, a spot that offers French-style bread and pastry with Asian inspired flavors. It’s the only place in Malden where you can get a kimchee-filled croquette and a taro latte. Owner Dennis Diao was a longtime resident of Malden when he first came to the United States from China for a program at Northeastern University. Despite moving away from the city, he chose to open a branch of Tous le Jour in the J Malden luxury apartment complex in June, 2021. “Malden is a city with potential. Everybody who lives in J Malden and everyone who takes the T is a customer,” he says. Tous le Jour allows for customers to grab a quick bite or spend extended […]

Business

Community Spotlight: Brazilian Community Members Paving a Pathway for Success in Malden

By Kyla Denisevich A restaurant owner, insurance company founder, and two pastors each came here with a different mission, but all demonstrate Brazilians values, culture, and work ethic. Malden is home to a population of 61,000 people, and as of 2019, 81.5% of those residents were born outside of the country. In Malden, the Latinx and Hispanic population is 8.5 percent. Most Brazilians don’t identify as Hispanic because they are not a Spanish-speaking country, therefore, it can be hard to categorize Brazilians in demographic calculations. However, their contributions to the community are difficult to miss.  Massachusetts has the second largest Brazilian population behind Florida because Brazilians were initially attracted to existing Portuguese-speaking communities in Massachusetts. Large-scale migration from Brazil first began after Brazil’s military coup in 1964, then again during the late 1980s when an economic crisis hit Brazil. The United States remains one of the main destinations for Brazilian emigration. Brazilian immigrants are the most likely ethnic group in Boston to be self-employed, with over a quarter starting their own businesses. Also, Brazilians have the […]