Meet Anthony Temple: Black Entrepreneur Making Moves In San Diego’s Mission Valley Mall

Meet Anthony Temple: Black Entrepreneur Making Moves In San Diego’s Mission Valley Mall

Black entrepreneur Anthony Temple owns several businesses inside San Diego, California’s Mission Valley Mall. According to a recent interview with AfroTech on July 21, Temple is making big moves in the business world, driven by his unshakable family values and motivation.

Inside the Mission Valley Mall, Temple opened up three different businesses within one year of each other. The shops: Temple Barber Lounge, Temple Custom Jewelers, and Blu Temple Cigar and Wine Company are a testament to his work ethic and goals as an entrepreneur.

In the exclusive interview with Afro Tech, Temple expressed, “I want to be used as a vessel to show my people this can be done.” He continued to talk about how it was growing up on the south side of Chicago and being discounted every step of the way. “I’m a kid that comes from the south side of Chicago, couldn’t read, write, getting in trouble, going to jail, getting locked up. We can do this. Odds were against me. So many people counting me out. I counted myself out. I didn’t think I was going to live to be past 22 years old because that’s just how the violence was. My reality was living in Chicago. So, I want to be used as a vessel to enter into these industries that I don’t typically see African Americans in.”

Early on, Temple admitted to turning towards the streets despite his father’s close guiding hand as he grew up. After selling drugs to make money, Temple’s turning point came when he was incarcerated. 

“Once I ended up getting in trouble, facing 21 to 45 years in jail at 18 years old, selling drugs, I felt the disappointment in my father’s eyes, my family.”

At that point, Temple decided to turn his life around, crediting his father for his motivation. Against the odds, he began the groundwork for his own business ventures. His life was altered again after his dad’s death at age 53, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He described his “ambition and motivation” fading in the face of his grief. 

In 2014, he made another big move to try and get himself back on track.

“We came here [to the West Coast]; we just started completely over,” Temple recalled. “We didn’t have a car. We didn’t have a place to stay or anything. When I came to California, I didn’t have a lot of money. I didn’t even have a good $10,000. I had enough money to buy a vehicle and get a plane ticket, and be able to go and get me some more tools. I was living off of all the liquidated funds. I was paying debt back that I owed, trying to leverage my life back out because still, at this time, I was young. I was still learning business. I had made so many different mistakes in business at this time, too as well. I felt that I needed to move somewhere where it was foreign to me, where I didn’t have the resources, to develop the new resources to even discipline myself more in saving money and investing money even more.”

Once in California, Temple built his current businesses from the ground up and worked to become a role model for young Black kids to look up to.  

He explained how important it was to honor the people who stood by him as he got to where he is now. He said, “I named everything ‘Temple’ after my last name for family legacy to give my family something to be proud of, so any family member will be able to walk in, get training, get the understanding of how to run and operate a business,”