Dedicated to mind, body & soul: Walker's Point business owners look to ease everyday stresses

MILWAUKEE -- It is a new year. But some may already be feeling the effects of everyday stresses and cold weather. Well, three women on Milwaukee's south side are filling the gaps in community wellness through measures dedicated to the mind, body and soul.

Mariyam Nayeri

Mariyam Nayeri is determined to make her business, Botanica Galactica, a place for all to feel welcome. The venue already offers yoga classes, but there is a desire to provide more.

"I found yoga maybe 15 years ago," Nayeri said. "This neighborhood is very dear to my heart. It's where my grandparents migrated to when they first arrived from Mexico."

In partnership with two other business owners, the trio is fundraising to launch a wellness café in the existing space.

Dominique Alvarado

"One of my biggest influences was my grandma. She grew up on a farm. For most of her life, she grew up vegan vegetarian," said Dominique Alvarado.

Alvarado said her Mexican heritage inspires her mostly plant-based cuisine. On the day FOX6 News visited, she was making the vegan version of the Mexican dish, Albondigas.

"It's a signature dish that many Latinx have grown up consuming," Alvarado said. "So it's going to be a chipotle cashew crew with a lentil meatball."


The group also wants to sell drinks that can provide a natural energy boost or a moment of zen for customers.

Michelle Alfaro

"Lavender and peppermint -- so anxiety calming," said Michelle Alfaro. "I like to study each herb and how it can serve the body."

Alfaro is an expert at hand-crafted tea. It is a skill she learned from her father.

"Whenever I used to not feel good he would make 'Manzanilla' or chamomile tea," Alfaro said.

Alfaro believes the blends can bring balance to the lives of others.

"I feel like there are wellness gaps in Milwaukee that we need to fill," Alfaro said.

Right now, business hours vary. They are raising money to make a more permanent space. But they continue to focus their attention on mind, body and soul -- offering healing to all.

"You go out into your day feeling happy, energized and connected," Nayeri said.

The group is planning a panel on the wellness café in March. In the meantime, if you would like to financially support the effort to create a cafe and wellness space in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood, you can CLICK HERE to make a donation.