Show your love for these Black-owned businesses 

Show your love for these Black-owned businesses 

Graphic by Sergio Mercado

By Sergio Mercado

According to Forbes, Black-owned businesses were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to support Black-owned businesses here in Ventura County, but even if you do not have a date this Valentine’s, we encourage you to support Black-owned businesses all year-round.

Barrel 33


Address: 1067 E Thompson Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001

Barrel 33 is a wine bar in Ventura that boasts several 5-star reviews on Yelp. It offers an extensive wine menu, along with pasta, pizza, salads and more. Patrons rave about their outdoor patio with a romantic and sophisticated atmosphere. A visit to Barrel 33 requires a reservation in advance, and patrons must be 21 years old or older, so bring your ID.

Caribbean Haven


Address: 593 N Moorpark Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Address: 1780 S Victoria Avenue, Suite E, Ventura, CA 93003

Caribbean Heaven is focused on serving a fusion of Caribbean and Filipino cuisine. Founder Hutton “Bobby” John says on Caribbean Heaven’s website that their mission is to “make authentic, fresh and delicious Island cuisine accessible to the masses!” Caribbean Haven has two locations, both offering “authentic island cuisine” and many vegan options. Daily and weekly specials are listed on their website, as well as free catering quotes.

Icon Barber Company


Address: 601 Mobil Ave Ste F, Camarillo, CA 93010

Icon Barber Company in Camarillo has all the tools to get you looking your best for Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. Their Instagram page shows a variety of haircuts that run the gamut from classic to trendy and creative. Services include all those you would expect of a barbershop — haircuts, beard services and line-ups — plus “special effects, parts, or designs.” according to their website.

The Kawa Shop


Instagram: @thekawashop

Operating out of Ventura County, The Kawa Shop offers a variety of handmade candles in shapes you cannot find at a Bath and Body Works. These include candles in the shape of teeth, mushrooms and skulls. Our Valentine’s Day pick are the conversation heart candles, sold in their conventional color scheme of pink, yellow and green; for a twist on the classic, you can get them in a darker red or black wax instead. 

Missy’s Cupcake Creations


Address: 2950 Johnson Dr Ventura, CA 93003

Missy’s Cupcake Creations’ Instagram page shows decadent cupcakes, macarons and donuts. With a storefront with ready-to-go desserts in Ventura, Missy’s Cupcake Creations also takes custom orders in advance.

Strut Don’t Stress


Address: 3301 E. Main St. Ventura, CA 93003

“To empower all levels, sizes, backgrounds, and genders on AND off the dance floor.” That is the first line of Strut Don’t Stress’ mission statement. With lessons held weekly, Strut Don’t Stress is a dance studio that focuses on uplifting communities and building confidence in dancers regardless of background. Lessons include classes for heels and for jazz styles of dance, as well as kids hip-hop and adult contemporary.

West of Orleans


Address: 3321 Kimber Dr Ste C Newbury Park, CA 93120

West of Orleans serves a variety of Cajun and Southern foods according to their website. A team of talented chefs in Newbury Park, their menu includes Po’ Boys and Southern Cuisine among other foods offered through take-out and catering. Reviews on Yelp highlight their gumbo in particular, so make sure to try it out!