Barbara Mattaliano Goes From Nanny To Co-Founder Of World's Largest Wild Rice Company

What's the recipe for a successful business these days?

If Barbara Mattaliano's story is anything to go by, it's complete and total commitment to a wild idea. Or in her case, a wild rice idea.

In 1996, Mattaliano began working as a nanny for George Denny, a California businessman and owner of a rice farm in Shasta County.

While caring for Denny's three children, Mattaliano, a former chef, developed a vision for Denny's small farm and began encouraging him to commercialize. She continued to do so over the next six years.

Her dedication and energy were critical to my decision to move forward, not merely her persistence,” Denny told the Boston Globe.

Driven by Mattaliano's vision, the pair co-founded Goose Valley Natural Foods in 2009, and the company has since become the largest producer of natural and organic wild rice not only in California, but in the United States, according to a video released by the company last month.

"[Wild rice] has high fiber, high protein, it has no sodium, no fat, no sugar. It's a complex carbohydrate. It's fuel for your body -- a really nutritious grain," Mattaliano says in the video.

“It was just an idea,” she told the Boston Globe. “The fact that he trusted in me and believed in me, it’s just so cool.”

Need more convincing that dedication can take you far? Check out Dennis Anderson's story. Anderson is a formerly homeless man who became the founder of a successful vegan handmade soap company.



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