The over 9,000 Latino-owned businesses in MN bring promise for a thriving economy. La Perla Tortillas speaks to “the giving of wisdom through experience.” Family-owned, it started at the Mercado, before moving into this 15,600sf factory in Seward. José came to America at the age of 14 and worked on a siding crew and as a mushroom picker. With his wife, Noemi and six children they relocated to Minneapolis where they worked long hours to support their family. As “a meal isn’t a meal without a tortilla,” they started a business plan with the help of John Flory, Special Projects Director for the Latino Economic Development Center. “Collaboration is so powerful,” Flory says. The three-and-a-half year journey for Lake Street’s Mercado included city government, economic development commissions, banks, and a major construction company.