Main menu


Wellness-owned Black Wellness opens shop in Milford

featured image

Peace property 8

Daniel Campbell’s photo.

Watch Vernatha Montoute as the first contestant performs Dragon Ball Z’s signature move on one foot, placing both hands around an invisible ball as they balance. The second bowed to walk out, at a simple, simple but timid pace. The third, a young girl, did the bridge laying. It wasn’t a new invention, but she led the crowd.

It’s a scene that Montoute wants to see more of hello kingsHer new wellness studio and storefront in Milford. For Montoute – better known as Vee or Vern – it is a place to make new memories while creating and around a community based on health and wellness. The studio is now located at 57 Naugatuck Ave. , near the water.

It is one of the very few black women-owned businesses in the city.

“I now represent a lot of us who haven’t been able to create spaces for ourselves,” she said last Sunday, at the grand opening and ribbon-cutting. “Others are like us and it’s a great honor to be one of the first to have a space like this.”

Royal Peace 4

The studio is part of a growing arts community in Milford, with Montot, who hails from Bridgeport, doing her part in diversifying. It is located on Naugatuck Street, just a block from Walnut Beach, with a line of sight leading to the water. It is a quiet and relaxing place for yoga, Reiki and proper bathing.

But through a semi-meditative calm, there is also excitement suspended in the air. This is the company’s first physical location, which she launched in 2016. For years, Montot has traveled to and from multiple cities across the state practicing her craft and teaching yoga. She has also worked for years in mental health and substance use disorder, where she uses mindfulness practices to improve patients’ health.

She said she believes she is “one of the first to have such a space in this community”. She encouraged Sunday’s attendees—especially the black women who were there—to pursue their dreams and take up more space.

property peace 7

said Crystal Hawthorne, friend and licensed career counselor in Manchester. “Health and wellness is her thing. And it was a pleasure to be a part of this journey with her.”

The journey to Peace of Royalty began years ago, when Montoute was in the military and had an undergraduate degree in human services. Around the same time, she also received 200-hour yoga service teacher training from 108 monkeysIt is an urban yoga group Do yoga in our city“And pops up yoga as a public health practice. She works in mental health and facilitates health and wellness groups, and has seen her passion for mindfulness, yoga, and meditation improve the well-being of her clients.

Become a certified yoga teacher with special training in Trauma yogaUrban youth yoga, early childhood yoga, chair yoga. She is also a sound therapist, Reiki practitioner, and mindfulness coach.

property peace 6

help Elm Village Inc.She has also spent time teaching yoga to children in schools. Yahkim Howard, the organization’s executive director, spoke of how children liked her and listened to her more than she led her to rooms full of adorable children.

Inside, the storefront has been filled with friends, family, and those who have watched Montot flourish on its journey since the beginning.

“Everyone who came for me, everyone in this space contributed to Peace of Kings becoming what it is, and I am so grateful to every one of them,” she said.

Her words echoed in space: people came from all over the state to cheer their friend. Lexi George, who is from New Haven, said she has known Montot for about four years, and is proud of the progress she has made. In that time, she saw her grow from a very small business into a brick-and-mortar storefront.

“She has been a vital part of the community and it is really great to see her having her own space where she can just focus on her business,” said George. “I hope it gets better and bigger for her from here.”


Fellow creative, writer, and author Moon Bay said she knew Montot from a mutual acquaintance and was in awe of the storefront when she stopped at the grand opening. She emphasized the importance of women-owned and black-owned businesses “on one of the most beautiful streets I’ve seen in the main New Haven and Milford area.”

“She stands by companies that have probably been here forever, and I’m sure they’ll be here for the same length of time,” Bey said.

Montot’s mother, Agatha Victor, raised a glass and gave a speech about her daughter’s resilience. As she spoke, her daughter smiled and enjoyed the support of the moment.

“She just entered the room, and she just lights it up. Everyone gravitates toward her personality,” Victor said. “She’s just a good person.”


Simon MacDonald, director of membership and marketing at the Milford Chamber of Commerce, was also present to see the new business start up. He and Milford State Senator James Maroney were standing beside Montot as she cut the blue ribbon, radiating from ear to ear.

“This is just another great job that fits right in here,” MacDonald said. “And the fact that it’s an all-encompassing work…it’s kind of turned into an all-encompassing area.”

MacDonald hopes Black’s female-owned and commercial footprint will bring new customers to Milford as the city expands its diversity, he said.

“It’s very rare for people to do something that comes from the heart,” Montot said. “I feel proud to be where I am now. It has been a journey, and I am looking forward to how we continue to grow.”

Peace of Royalty opens at 57 Naugatuck Ave. At Milford Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, visit the website website.