Organic superfoods are trending in 2019, especially in free-spirited La La Land, where the mild climate and surrounding landscape of mountains meeting sea inspire many to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle. The Mattole River Valley, located several hours up the coast from LA, boasts an untouched coastline in the shadows of the 4,000-foot King Mountain Range. Its bountiful, unadulterated beauty became the inspiration for a brand rooted in respect for all things raw and organic. Mattole Valley Naturals uses only the best organic, grass-fed, wild-harvested ingredients in their products, avoiding growth hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, pesticides, and gluten.
Protein powder is one of the most widely-used fitness supplements by far. While it is not their only product line, it comes as no surprise that MVN’s protein powder is their most popular one. Whey protein, in particular, has been shown to aid in muscle recovery when consumed after exercise, and most fitness coaches will advise investing in a shaker and some protein for post-workout fuel. Mattole Valley Naturals is reaching out not just to fitness coaches and high-performance bodybuilders, but to “athletes” of all types, from yoga enthusiasts to surfers, dog walkers, and hikers.
The immense variety of supplement brands, flavors and ingredients can be overwhelming to the novice consumer, and often the long ingredient lists require a chemist to be fully translated. Mattole Valley Naturals’ CEO Blaine Lando attributes the identity of the company to his upbringing on an organic farm in Hawaii. His passion for organic living was his motivation for MVN.
The company can speak to the vertical integration from each source to the product. The brand’s nutrient-rich and flavorful goat protein blend comes in part from a third-generation, 40-acre family farm in Washington state. The farm’s facilities include an old cheese factory that the company uses to process the raw goat’s milk, separating the whey and extracting the moisture. The resulting dried whey cakes are then ground into a powder that ultimately becomes the main ingredient in Mattole Valley Naturals Goat Milk Protein.
MVN does make a more conventional cow’s milk protein powder, too. Making the product less ordinary is MVN’s decision to source this whey from Australian dairy farms. Aside from the obvious charm of their adorable accents (Moo, mate!), the Australian cows are never treated with hormones, as this practice is illegal down under. “I like to be transparent. In this industry, it’s funny—there’s a lot of people talking about their source, but they won’t actually tell you their source. Everyone is very secretive of their farm or who they import it from, so I try to be as transparent as possible,” Blaine said.
Adding to the quality of MVN’s supplements, they use only the finest ingredients for flavoring their products. When you see the term “natural flavors” on the products you find in the store, it’s because the brand uses flavoring constituents often derived from a spice, juice or oil. MVN’s flavors are the actual ingredient you envision in the wild. “When we say chocolate, we use 100% cacao and our vanilla is bourbon vanilla. The strawberry flavor? Actual strawberries,” Blaine said. This is a company that earnestly cares about the environment and the animals and plants that provide the raw materials for our nourishment, as well as the human consumers on the other end, a fact that is much appreciated by clients. With surprisingly little marketing, MVN’s protein has become the ambrosia of Hollywood’s elite—one can spot celebs adding it to their smoothies at the juice bar of Erehwon, a popular natural foods store in LA.