Our Family Story
In 1906 our Great Grandfather, Paul Mariani, left his hometown in Croatia and sailed to the United States of America. Though we’re sure the reason for his journey was to create the life of his dreams, he was also following his high school sweetheart, Victoria.
He landed in New York City, which was exactly the opposite coast from where Victoria’s family lived. Young and determined, he found a job in a coconut factory where he worked for $1 a day, until he saved enough money to jump on a train and head west to California.
Victoria’s father owned an orchard in Silicon Valley, and when Paul arrived, her father offered him a job there. Paul took the job, married Victoria, and together they saved enough money to put a down payment on their own orchard, giving birth to Mariani Dried Fruit.
At the time, Silicon Valley was filled with orchards; many of which were farmed by immigrant farmers just like the Marianis. Known for his hard work, commitment to quality, and dedication not only to his family, but to all of the families in their community, Paul brought something special to the table.
Almost immediately he started to innovate with better technology for drying fruit. He realized that adding a little moisture back into dried fruit created a much softer and more enjoyable experience. So he packed his rehydrated dried fruit into ready-to-eat packages, with clear windows because he believed in quality people could see.
As they built their business, Paul and Victoria had four children, 3 girls and a boy. Their son, Paul Jr., and their daughter, Mathilda Sousa, grew up and combined their vision and hard work to expand Mariani. They continued to innovate and bought land in Australia where Mariani could grow and produce fruit for their customers all year ‘round.
In 1979, Paul Jr’s son, Mark Mariani, became CEO, and along with Mathilda’s son, George Sousa Sr. as Vice President, they continued the legacy of quality, innovation, and family first.
Mark and George brought innovation to the food industry with the first stand up gusseted pouch bag, followed by the Touchlock velcro seal making on-the-go snacking even easier.
They searched out growers around the world who shared their same values of quality, and partnered with them to bring new items like berries and tropical fruits to their customers. They worked hard and continued to build Mariani on the same values in which it was founded.
Now in our fourth generation, with Mathilda’s grandson, George Sousa Jr. as our President, 7 working family members and over 450 Mariani employees, we remain committed to quality, innovation, and living the values that were exemplified for us so that we can be examples of those values for the next generation.
As we raise our own children, we see more than ever the impact that real, whole, plant based food can have on the health of our families. Our mission is to make the world’s best dried fruit so that you and your family can make real, nutrient rich food the fuel for your life. .
From our family to yours,