Category Archives: Business

Dr. Janis Shinkawa selected as finalist for Woman Business Owner of the Year

“Our chapter is proud and excited that one of our members is a finalist.”

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has announced the finalists for the 2017 Woman Business Owner of the Year Award. Among thousands of members, Dr. Janis Shinkawa, co-founder and medical director of Ohana Pet Hospital in Ventura rose to the top of the outstanding field along with two other national finalists, NAWBO members Kimberly Baeth of Golden Openings, Urbandale, Iowa and Kim Heathcott of Clarion Security, Memphis, Tennessee.

“NAWBO members set the bar high in all their endeavors.  We look forward each year to recognizing a woman business owner that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and continues to push the limits of what is possible,” said Kathy Warnick NAWBO National Chair.  “NAWBO is proud to be the unified voice of all women business owners.  The three women we recognize this year represent the diversity of industries and interests we support through NAWBO programs.  Even though they come from different sectors of industry, their desire to build a thriving business and give back to others unites them and makes them worthy of distinction.”

“Our chapter is proud and excited that one of our members is a finalist for this prestigious award,” said Elaine Hollifield, NAWBO Ventura County President and owner of Hollifield Creative. “Dr. Jan and everyone at Ohana Pet Hospital have earned and deserve every accolade. They are wonderful role models for a successful business that contributes greatly to our community.” Dr. Shinkawa was nominated by NAWBO California Board Member and Past President, Ventura County Chapter Diane de Mailly of DDM Metering Systems.

The NAWBO  recognizes a NAWBO Member who excels at strategy, operations, finances, problem-solving, overcomes adversity and gives back to her community. NAWBO leadership will present the distinguished award during the Annual Awards Gala on October 17 in Minneapolis. The Awards Gala will conclude the National Women’s Business Conference.

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is the unified voice of America’s more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries. NAWBO develops programs that help navigate women entrepreneurs through the various stages of their business growth.

How Cute is That! Consignment Boutique

How Cute is That! Consignment Boutique had their official Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday, September 6th. Owner, Ellyn Ostrove, many of her friends, Chamber members, family and community supporters joined her for this special occasion.

How Cute is That! offers pre-loved, women’s upscale designer and name brand clothing, accessories and household decor, handpicked and curated by Ellyn herself.

Her mission is to provide the look of a high end Boutique with the feel and comfort of classic Ventura.

Boutique hours are Tues-Sat 11am – 6pm, (closed Sun/Mon) and is located at 2122 East Thompson Blvd. 628-9419

Main Street Meats & Real Food Market a Ventura legacy

Sharon and Isaiah carry on a legacy. Photo by Michael Gordon

by Jennifer Tipton

Located at 3049 E. Main St., this landmark has long been known as Ventura’s original and most loved butcher shop.

Opening in the 1920’s it was originally known as “Triangle Park Market” referring to the nearby intersection of Thompson, Main, and Telegraph Rd. Briefly leased as a restaurant it opened again as a butcher shop known as “Bud’s 101 Market”, back then Main Street was Hwy 101!

Frank Rea took over in the 1950’s and it became our beloved “Frank’s Market”, with son Mike as successor.

In 2012 Frank’s Market suddenly closed and Ventura held its breath … where we will get those amazing spencer steaks? Rumor was Frank became ill … truth is Mike simply retired.

A local rancher with over 17 years of experience, Sharon Palmer bought the business and after extensive remodeling re-opened as “Main Street Meats” in 2013.

Three of her kids, Jazmin, Shannon and A.J. work for their mom. Other employees include Aldo, Alexa and Isaiah with Future Farmers of America learning the trade.

The meat all comes from local ranchers and is organic, no dyes, no artificial preservatives or hormones, never been packaged or frozen. Much of the meat is dry aged which is the natural way to care for fresh meat, just as the butchers of days past used to hang it. “The problem with local grocery stores,” according to Sharon, “is the meat is cut and packed and never allowed to do what it’s supposed to do.”

Customers can order preferred cuts (like those spencer steaks), but the meat case has a variety of choices such as gorgeous steaks, chops, ribs and some incredible specialties – teriyaki beef short ribs, chicken artichoke feta sausage or sundried tomato, spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken. There are a variety of custom burgers not found anywhere else such as the bacon burger with beef and bacon ground together. The ultimate burger is a combo of ground tri-tip, brisket and sirloin and all meat is ground fresh daily. Bulk Boxes are available ranging from 20-40 pounds with choices of beef, pork or the forager (combo) pack.

Sharon also does specialty side dishes for holidays, there was “Man Candy” for Father’s Day.

There’s also a full deli with assorted sandwiches etc.… and smoked tri tips, chickens, ribs and turkeys available to purchase. Selections change frequently.

Specials are offered every weekend. By entering your cell phone number, you’ll receive text messages notifying you of the current deal. Deals include $10 off a $50 purchase or a free tri tip with purchase of a bulk box and additional 5% discount if you pay cash. Sharon says, “Fees for small merchants are high, I’d rather give my customers that discount.” Checking in each visit earns future discounts of $5 to $10.

Main Street Meats also calls itself “a Real Food Market” and rightly so because there is local produce and products including Blue Ridge honey, Ventura’s Coffee and Earls Gone Wild BBQ sauces and marmalades. Sharon says, “You’ve got to be part of the neighborhood and support small businesses.”

She also shared, “To me, if you don’t give to the community, how do you expect the community to give back to you?”

Sharon gives generously to the City Center, Future Farmers of America and the Ventura County SELPA project, which provides disabled kids a chance to work in the market every Wednesday.

Main Street Meats & Real Food Market carries on the legacy of Frank and Mike Rea.

For more info check the website:

Facility expands program for retired or disabled veterans

Treacy Villa Residential Care Facility is proud to announce the expansion of their Veterans Administration “Aid & Attendance Program” for retired or disabled veterans. Treacy Villa has dedicated additional single and double rooms for qualified veterans who can now apply for a monthly benefit payment that is made in addition to other pensions. This additional benefit can pay a significant portion towards full residential services at Treacy Villa. Basic requirements for consideration by the VA are:

  • The veteran requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living such as bathing, feeding, dressing and other basic activities
  • The veteran is bedridden due to disability or disabilities that require the veteran to remain in bed
  • The veteran is diagnosed with mental disability including Dementia, or is physically incapacitated
  • The veteran Is diagnosed with eyesight with limited visual acuity in both eyes or other visual disorders

Additional requirements may apply. Please view web site for more information, or contact Treacy Villa to learn how to apply for the “Aid & Attendance Program” through the Veterans Administration.

Treacy Villa Residential Care Facility has been serving armed force’s veterans and their families since 1987 when Patrick Treacy, a military veteran himself, first opened the doors to thr 49-bed home. Treacy Villa offers memory care, respite care, transitional care, and hospice.

Treacy Villa Residential Care Facility

3482 Loma Vista Rd. Ventura, CA 93003 644-1292 email:

Women’s Economic Ventures training

Are you ready to become an entrepreneur, or expand your existing small business? Afraid to “go it alone,” or unsure how to proceed? WEV’s training programs guide you in taking the next step. Attend a free 1-hour orientation, where you’ll meet a WEV representative that will help you determine if Set, Explore, or another WEV program is right for you!

WEV’s business training classes are offered in English and Spanish throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Free orientations are held throughout the year and are required for enrollment in a training program.

Exact locations given at registration
Free, but registration is required

Thursday 9/7/2017 12-1 pm
Wednesday 9/13/2017 6-7 pm
Wednesday 9/20/2017 12-1 pm

New League of Extraordinary Women kickoff unites local women

Sue Osborn, Bonnie Atmore, Judy Warner, Betsy Chess and Marsha Bailey are extraordinary women .

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) hosted a group of influential women leaders from Ventura County at the kick off of their new League of Extraordinary Women held at the Atmore Ranch on Tuesday, July 25th. More than 50 guests gathered at the ranch to hear several speakers discuss how the new group will help to strengthen women-owned businesses and elevate women in our community.

“This was an extraordinary evening for all of us,” said Citycouncil Member Cheryl Heitmann, a co-chair of the event who serves on WEV’s Board of Directors. “The outdoor setting was beautiful and the information shared was important. While women now own 36% of all businesses, 71% of those businesses generate less than $25,000 in annual revenues. We need to support women in our community so they can be more successful.”

Already including more than 40 members, WEV’s new League of Extraordinary Women will provide an opportunity for members to meet and combine their efforts and resources to help strengthen women-owned businesses and elevate women in our community.

Along, with Heitmann, the event was co-chaired by WEV board member Elena Brokaw, hosted by Bonnie Atmore and featured Penny Henschel, owner of Ever After Designs, a WEV client business. Henschel, who has been participating in WEV’s business consulting program Thrive in Five® for 3 years, is a perfect example of the type of business owner the League is working to help. “Since joining Thrive in Five® my gross income has nearly tripled” said Henschel. “I’m in my third location and have gained some really great corporate clients. I like to say this is where preparation meets opportunity.”

Marsha Bailey, Founder and CEO of WEV also spoke at the event. “Women entrepreneurs have the capacity to grow U.S. GDP by 9 points or more,” said Bailey. “Unfortunately, neither our government nor private investors are banking on women in a big way so we must find other means to get them the capital and support they need. The League provides its members a great way to lend their voice, guidance and financial support to promote women’s business success.”

The League of Extraordinary Women is for business executives, entrepreneurs, professionals, artists and philanthropists living and working in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. To find out more about how to become a member, contact Danelle Coyle at 456-2347 or

Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to over 14,000 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and made more than $4 million in loans, assisting over 4,000 local businesses. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center, and a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Photo from left to right: Sue Osborn, Bonnie Atmore, Judy Warner, Betsy Chess and Marsha Bailey.

Bigelow Family Home Care

by Victoria Usher

If you have been searching all over for the perfect family home care agency that you know will always be there for your loved ones anytime day or night, then you should look no further than Bigelow Family Home Care. This privately-run home care agency was first started in 2010 and is dedicated to creating the best living experience for individuals with special needs all within the comfort of their own homes.

This is a place where hourly care, temporary care, short term care, long term care, and even live in care are all an option no matter what. Any person who lives somewhere in Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, or Kern County is eligible for the care services that Bigelow Family Home Care provides.

A few examples of these specific cities include Lancaster, Palmdale, Antelope Valley, Rosemond, Lake LA, Newhall, Santa Clarita, Woodland Hills, Northridge, and many others that are also within those four counties.

If you would like to learn more about Bigelow Family Home Care you can get in touch with someone by simply calling 800-804-8845 or you can also visit their website

La Cosecha Modern Cocina restaurant at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel

Located at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel is the La Cosecha Modern Cocina restaurant led by acclaimed Executive Chef Luis Martinez. The new restaurant concept and remodel is part of the hotel’s recent multimillion dollar renovation. Spanish for “the harvest” La Cosecha features authentic Mexican cuisine as a visionary concept in modern Mexican food.

The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 450 E. Harbor Blvd. 652-5151.

Women’s Economic Ventures free self-employment training

Are you ready to become an entrepreneur, or expand your existing small business? Afraid to “go it alone,” or unsure how to proceed? WEV’s training programs guide you in taking the next step. Attend a free 1-hour orientation, where you’ll meet a WEV representative that will help you determine if Set, Explore, or another WEV program is right for you!

WEV’s business training classes are offered in English and Spanish throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Free orientations are held throughout the year and are required for enrollment in a training program.

Exact locations given at registration
Cost: free, but registration is required

Thursday, August 3rd, 6-7 PM, Ventura

Tuesday, August 8th, 12-1 PM, Ventura

Wednesday, August 16th, 12-1 PM, Ventura

Orientation locations are subject to change. For more information, and to register for an upcoming orientation, visit WEV’s Web site at

WEV Spanish Self-Employment Training graduates set for business success

Business ideas include day care, landscaping, transportation, housecleaning, manicurist, and more.

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) recently celebrated the accomplishments of 17 women and men who successfully completed WEV’s Ventura County-based Advanced Spanish Self-Employment Training (SSET) course with a graduation ceremony held at Ventura Adult & Continuing Education (VACE) in Ventura.

After 14 weeks of training on topics including finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, and how to write a business plan, these graduates completed the course with the necessary tools and support needed to start or expand their businesses.

“We are so proud of the dedication and passion these graduates showed in class” said Leticia Sandoval, WEV Spanish Program Coordinator. “Even though some had to travel or come straight after a long day of work, they committed to doing the work and now have graduated with more confidence and the resources necessary to achieve their dreams. We can’t wait to see how far they can go!”

The graduates range from first-time business owners to those who have turned to WEV to help expand their existing businesses. Graduate businesses and business ideas include day care, landscaping, transportation, healthy meals for delivery, restaurants, housecleaning, manicurist, and more.

WEV offers an Advanced 14 week Self Employment Training course for Spanish-speakers who wish to learn step by step how to start, improve, or grow a small business. The course is held once a week for 14 consecutive weeks. The next Advanced Spanish Self-Employment Training (SSET) course in Ventura County begins August 23rd. To qualify for the course, interested participants must set an appointment to interview with Spanish Program Coordinator Leticia Sandoval. For more information please call 456-2383 or visit

WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. Since 1991, WEV has been providing a continuum of comprehensive services – training, consulting and loans – to help entrepreneurs start grow and thrive in business. WEV’s service area includes Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, with offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Maria. WEV provides start-up and expansion loans of up to $50,000 to pre-bankable microenterprises. For more information, visit WEV’s Web site at