Ventura County's Support-Local Program

New Totally Local Projects for the New Year

We celebrate the New Year with some wonderful new Totally Local VC projects as well as some of your old favorites.


We’re Six Years Old!

Totally Local VC was founded almost six years ago! I wanted to create a collaborative initiative that would work to educate our community on the importance of supporting local and how each of us can create positive effects in our community just by making small shifts in our lives to local.

Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash Festival

Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash Festival

Our team has worked hard to educate, advocate and celebrate all that is the Bounty from Ventura County. From our farmers, ranchers, chefs, small business owners, artists and musicians to the history of the county, we feel it is important to understand how each of these groups plays key roles in making our community to thrive while staying unique.

Small shifts have big effects

Check out these facts:

  • A 10% shift in food spending could redirect $186 million each year to countywide farmers and ranchers.
  • A 10% shift in spending to independent businesses can result in an average of 1,600 new jobs $53 million in wages, and 137 million economic impacts to the area.
  • 70% of our nation’s economy is derived from consumer spending (source: CBS News). For every $100 spent in a local retail business, an average of $68 returns to the local economy versus a paltry $43 if that money is spent with a big box or chain (source:

Some new Totally Local VC projects

This year has brought Totally Local VC some wonderful new projects as well as some of your old favorites. Here is just some of what you can look forward to:

  • Totally Local VC is very honored to have been asked by our County Agriculture Commissioner to be the facilitator for the 2015 Agricultural Summit
  • Totally Local VC’s A Taste of Local event will be coming this spring/summer
  • The Local Music Series, presented by Totally Local VC and Firestone Walker, is growing into a larger-scale three-concert event.
  • Totally Local VC's Dinner At The... dinner series

    Totally Local VC’s Dinner At The… dinner series

  • Totally Local VC’s Dinner At The… dinner series continues with more great dining experiences at spectacular locations
  • The Eat Local, Hug a Farmer educational discussion series expands
  • A new three-part series featuring guest speakers, education and film
  • Even more guest writers contributing articles for the Totally Local VC website
  • Guest appearances on local TV and Radio shows
  • We will continue to work with Roadshow Revival on the Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash Festival
  • In partnership with KM Productions and Roadshow Revival we will bring you The California Blues Fest, formally known as Blues as the Beach
  • We are very honored to also be working with Houweling’s Tomatoes on the Seeds of Tomorrow
  • We will work with the City of Ventura to bring you this year’s Ventura Music Week
  • Once again, we’ll be working with Surf Rodeo to help shape another fun weekend of surfing, music and food

Thank you

We want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of our sponsors, supporters and partners who believe in and have supported Totally Local VC. We look forward to working with all of you and to helping our community thrive.

Image credits: Denise Dewire and Kat Merrick

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.


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Mortgage Couch
Houseling's Tomatoes
Guardian Memorial
Ventura Rental Party Center
Ventura Meat Company
Ventura County Cattlemen's Association