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Barbershop Talk with Temple: Family going from Black-owned business to Black-owned empire

There are entrepreneurs and then there's Anthony Temple.
Barbershop Talk with Temple
Barbershop Talk with Temple 2
Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-21 22:21:42-05

MISSION VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) — There are entrepreneurs and then there's Anthony Temple.

The Mission Valley business owner didn't know how to read and write until he was in his 20s and now he's setting the example for people of color on how they can be their own boss.

"Coming out of Chicago, it was rough," said Temple.

"There was so much police brutality. I've been a victim of it. It's like what do we do about it? What's the solution?"

The 41-year-old Chicago native says one of the best ways to minimize the trauma African Americans face is through ownership.

"Whether police brutality or systematic oppression a lot of that can be changed through ownership," said Temple. "Because now we are an asset to the community and if we don't like the way we are being treated we can leverage those assets."

His barbershop in Mission Valley Mall sits right next to his jewelry store which sits right next to his Cigar and Wine Company.

"I wanted to do something that I typically don't see African Americans doing so that way there is a blueprint to go off of," said Temple. "I can share the information and show them what the licensing process looks like."

The former construction worker built the business ground up both literally and figuratively. It's all pretty impressive for someone who couldn't read and write until age 22.

"The public school systems failed me and I didn't have anybody to really identify what the problem was," said Temple.

"Once I learned how to read and write that took me to the next level because I read every book about business that I could possibly read and that's where my success came from."

Now, this serial entrepreneur is writing books and doing podcasts trying to teach and mentor the next generation including his recently promoted manager of his Wine Company. He met Johnny Porter online at just 18 years old.

"I went straight to the comment section hoping for the best," said Porter.

"Certain people sometimes, unfortunately, they don't want to give information. It's not just because they don't want to see you succeed but they are thinking only for self. That wasn't Anthony."

"When mentoring I always look for consistency, integrity, just knowing that they're serious about their life and that they want different," said Temple.

"Sometimes people just need the opportunity shown to them."

Take the owner behind the Red Cup Kiosk nearby them, for example. Temple met him selling stuff on the beach and decided to help him get established. Temple says that mentorship is now available to anyone who walks by his section of Mission Valley Mall.

"Young black kids, they walk by and they ask man you are the owner? They are intrigued," said Temple.

"They say how did you do this? They say you own this? They can't believe it, so when they ask the questions that's the thing I feel, man this approach is working."

"He is multiplying his businesses day by day," said NBA champion and former Los Angeles Clippers player Glenn 'Big Baby' Davis as he got a haircut.

"He's just a great representation for black kids and minorities, in general, to say hey I can go do this if I put my mind to it."

"It's very important they get the exposure to see as much as possible to be able to envision themselves in those same shoes," said Temple's wife Naomi.

Their goal in this part of the mall is to make black ownership a regular part of barbershop talk.

"People ask me all the time why do you do so much? Why is it that you're doing all of this? Because I have to have a sense of urgency for my people, for the community because others have plowed for us to walk through so we have to pay it forward," said Temple.

Temple says he already employs 30-40 people but is always looking to add more folks to the Temple family.

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