Blending the holistic lifestyle with conscientious businessH
awai`i native Blaine Lando, `07, ran his first start-up while he worked toward a business economics degree at UC Santa Barbara. “I was able to take classroom lessons and apply them to real life,” he said.
“I was really able to fully appreciate the value of my UCSB education early on.”
After working in the clothing industry, Lando was inspired by how his father, Dr. Paul Barre Lando, treated patients with a combination of Eastern and Western medicine. Since 2012, the younger Lando created remixes of his father’s nutritional formulas and has sold multiple lines of herbal greens, protein powders and energy infusions through Mattole Valley Naturals.
The Santa Barbara-based company emphasizes clean living, responsible product sourcing and a unique brand of spiritual wellness. “We are committed to sourcing only the highest quality sustainable ingredients in our whole food blends,” said Lando. “We are always vigilant in our sourcing of sustainably-farmed foods and strive to work with like-minded companies.”
Fellow UCSB alum Maressa Garner joined the MV Naturals team right after she graduated in 2012. “While at UCSB, I took a great interest in food justice and the localization of food systems,” said Garner, who now works as the company’s administrative director.
This fall 2015, the MV Naturals team went on a road trip through the Pacific Northwest to meet key suppliers like a family-run goat farm in Washington State.
“Majority of our products are, in fact, plant-based,” said Lando. “However, many people do thrive on small amounts of animal protein as a vital micronutrient in their diets. Our flagship product is a lacto-fermented goat milk protein designed specifically to meet this need. We work with a small family that operates according to biodynamic principles and consciously produces their goat milk products in a closed loop format.” Some MV Naturals products use blue-green algae “wild-crafted” from Klamath Falls, Oregon, another road trip stop.
Through the Mattole Valley Naturals Sustainable Living Project, the company also collaborates with PrAna’s Chadd Konig and Goal Zero to nurture the first domestic organic cultivation of tonic herbs like Jiao Gu Lan and He Shou Wu. “We believe there is a balance to be struck and aim to work with companies that operate with a healthy biosphere in mind,” said Garner.