On a rainy Wednesday morning in Mission Hill, Mike’s Donuts on Tremont Street hung a sign in their window which read, “Welcome Back Students!” The sweet smell of pastries poured out of the open front door. Esmeralda Tango (pictured right) greeted customers, young and old, with a bright smile.

Mike’s Donuts has been serving Mission Hill since 1969, and Tango, 35, has done “everything” at Mike’s for eight years. Though Tango does not live in Mission Hill, she has witnessed the recent influx of students and the effects they have had on the community.

“Compared to eight years ago, when I started working here, all the streets, Tremont Street, between the train station to here, was empty. Now it’s full with buildings and more business,” said Tango. She specifically noted the luxury apartments right down the street and a trendy cafe chain that opened next door.

Though Mike’s has loyal, regular customers who have kept coming back for 40 years, Tango said they now serve a large student population.

“The students are great. Who says the students are changing things? They are changing things for good. I love all the students,” Tango said. “They’re not doing anything wrong. They’re not doing anything bad for the neighborhood. They are very nice people, very nice kids.”

Tango maintained a sense of humor about the refreshing new clientele and even said that the students are her favorite thing about working at Mike’s.

“I like working with the students; they’re kids. They’re nice. They’re not too picky, like old people.”


About this project 

The Scope’s student journalists spoke with community members in Mission Hill. #MissionHill100 is a collection of their stories.