Welcome to Biz Buzz, a monthly dispatch of interesting business news in the VC.



Chill Out Frozen Yogurt and Paninis opened at 417 E. Port Hueneme Road in Port Hueneme. Enjoy frozen yogurt or soup with a selection of paninis, including the Seabee breakfast, roast beef and margherita. … Chicago Dogs offering delicious hot dogs to go or for outside eating as part of Chicago’s Ribs and More at 692 E. Main St. in Ventura. … Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch recently opened at 4020 E. Main St. in Ventura. The restaurant is known for its mesquite barbecued chicken and tri-tip, and also offers burritos, party packs and a salsa bar. … Buttercups Cool Treats opened at 1121 S. Victoria Ave. in Oxnard. Owners Bonny Chick and Marcie Mills are encouraging a “create your own perfect dessert” atmosphere with over candy and yogurt. There are more than 30 flavors of yogurt and toppings with plenty of penny candies such as Abba Zaba and Clark Bar and retro candies such as the Chunky Bar and Zagnut.

Grand opening of Goodwill in Oxnard.

Goodwill Industries of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties celebrated the grand opening of an Oxnard location at 2330 N. Rose Ave. The Goodwill and its donation center are open seven days a week. … It’s in the Sauce held a grand re-opening at 1661 Pacific Ave., #12, in Oxnard. The restaurant was voted the best barbecue in Ventura County and it also offers sandwiches, home-style side orders and desserts, as well as catering and banquet rooms. … Bellini Bistro at 30245 Canwood St. in Agoura Hills, located inside the 76 gas station and Agoura Hills Hand Carwash. The bistro offers a wide range of food and drinks, including the popular grilled Tuscan ciabatta panini, salads, homemade dressing, sandwiches, chai lattes and much more. … Kona Ice is now serving Ventura County, offering gourmet frozen treats and entertainment on an ice cream truck. Customers are offered overflowing cups of freshly shaved ice and an assortment of flavors while calypso music fills the air. Owner Cheri Wells caters for special events as well; contact cwells@kona-ice.com. … Oxnard Housing Authority, the nonprofit Las Cortes Inc. and McCarthy Companies will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5493 Cypress Road in Oxnard on Tuesday, April 30, at 1:30 p.m. The celebration was the opening of 72 new, two- and three-bedroom apartments in 12 two-story buildings.


And the award goes to …

Seven-year-old Amy Espinoza was chosen as this year’s Youth Art Design Contest winner of the 30th Anniversary California Strawberry Festival. Espinoza is a second-grade student at Thurgood Marshall Elementary in Oxnard and her painting of a smiley strawberry was selected from 1,352 entries. … KCLU News Director Lance Orozco will be awarded the 2012 Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists. Orozco will receive the award for best feature reporting on June 21 in Washington, D.C., for his story chronicling his battle with kidney cancer.

Frank Padilla, Ventura P.D. crime fighting officer of the year with Chief Ken Corney.

The Ventura Police Department recently honored 2013’s outstanding employees and recognized several individuals for serving the department for five, 10 or 15 years.


Moving up

The Ventura Police Department celebrated the swearing-in of seven police officers and two lateral officers. The officers completed 23 weeks of intensive training prior to graduation and will now take part in an internal four- to six-month field training program. … Myron Freedman was appointed as the new executive director of the Museum of Ventura County. Freedman has an extensive history in the museum world and will supervise both the Ventura museum and the agriculture museum in Santa Paula.

Ann Deal, founder and CEO of Fashion Forms.

… Entrepreneur Ann Deal was named Business and Community Leader of the Year by California State University, Channel Island’s Business and Technology Partnership. Deal is the founder and CEO of specialty lingerie company Fashion Forms and she was honored for her business achievements, including the rapid growth of her company in the past year. … Rigoberto Vargas was named as the public health director for the Ventura County Health Care Agency. Vargas continues his lifelong work in Ventura County public health, now overseeing more than 300 employees and a budget of more than $39 million.

Brian Berman, Jeffrey Crussell, Pamela Grau,
Doug Lochner and Devin Oatway of Ojai Studio Artists.

Brian Berman, Jeffrey Crussell, Pamela Grau, Doug Lochner and Devin Oatway have been voted into membership at the Ojai Studio Artists. The five artists all have a unique focus and have been invited to participate in the 2013 Ojai Studio Artists Tour in October. … Jane Rozanski was selected by Gov. Jerry Brown for the California Commission on Aging. Rozanski is currently the Camarillo Health Care District CEO and she brings extensive experience and dedication to her appointment. … Mark Rafeh has been appointed to the Board of Easter Seals Southern California, a nonprofit disability services organization. Rafeh is currently the vice president of Century 21 Hilltop and has previously served as chairman of the board and affiliate for Easter Seals.


In the name of charity

School on Wheels recently held the presidential service award ceremony to recognize Ventura County volunteer tutors with more than 100 hours of service to homeless children in 2012. Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara/Ventura, presented the awards to the volunteers, with pins and letters from President Barack Obama, and all volunteers received certificates.

Photo by Matthew Hill
School on Wheels recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award,
from left to right, Mercy Maldonado, Angela Lindahl, Susannah Chilton, and Kathy Neufeld.


Ben Takeda was named April’s Teacher of the Month by the Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation. Takeda has taught auto mechanics at Buena High School in Ventura for more than 30 years and he is actively involved within the school and the community. …Prime Time International recently donated a salad bar to Kamala Elementary in Oxnard as part of Michelle Obama’s national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. Prime Time is the largest year-round grower, packer and shipper of multicolored peppers in the United States. … The Oxnard School District recently announced that in the fall of 2014, three schools will open as sixth- to eighth-grade academies offering core curriculum but incorporating the academies’ focuses (science/engineering/arts). … Brekke Elementary School in Oxnard recently held an assembly to thank donors for fundraisers’ efforts toward the upcoming sixth grade class trip to visit the Channel Islands National Park.


Happy anniversary!

Island Packers, which is celebrating 45 years, marked the day and an expansion with the addition of a third catamaran, the Island Explorer. The catamaran, which was delivered from Washington, will help Island Packers increase the exclusive boat service only it provides to Channel Islands National Park.

Island Packers celebrates 45 years with a new catamaran, The Island Explorer.

Supercuts at 4255 E. Main St. in Ventura is celebrating 30 years of service since owners Ken and Marilyn Rivera opened the doors in 1983. … In Oxnard, Haas Automation celebrated 30 years in the machine tool builder industry, where it is currently the largest company in the western world.

Biz Buzz appears the first Thursday of each month. Send news of openings, changes and other things of interest to Editorial@vcreporter.com.