Pastry traditions collide at Matria

August 22, 2022

By Katie Aldridge

Mariano Rios is a professional cook from Argentina and the founder of Matria, a pastry shop coming soon to the Dayton area. Matria creates traditional, Argentinian pastries, which originate from France, Italy, Spain, Northern Europe, and Africa.

Mariano is also the owner of the La Pampa Mobile Grill, a popular food truck operating for the past 10 years.

He recently joined Spark Fairborn. We caught up with him to learn more about Matria and his entrepreneurial journey.

Launch Dayton: How did your company start?

Matria is a concept that started two years ago. I want to change my life a bit and manage my time around my family. The food truck business, even though it is good, is taking a lot of my time. After ten years, it is time to change energies and concepts. Matria is still gestating, but we are knocking on doors for help in starting this patisserie.

Why this idea?

I don’t think there are enough good quality patisseries. As a professional cook, you have to be aware of the health, nutrition, and diet of the people in your community and area. There are few patisseries doing a respectful job regarding the ingredients. We are focusing on using real sugar, real eggs, and quality ingredients. The pastries have less than 10% of sugar. Not only am I thinking about the experience of having a treat at the beginning or end of the day, but also the nutritional value.

Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?

No, never. I grew up with a working-class father and mother. I thought I was going to be a professional cook. It’s why I went to culinary school and then to perfect my techniques in Europe. I thought that would be enough. Then I realized in Ohio that it is really hard to make a living. I was somehow forced to start my own business. I wanted my businesses to be as farm-to-table and high quality as possible. There are so many opportunities in the Miami Valley to be collaborative with other small businesses.

What identities do you bring to entrepreneurship that helped prepare you for this lifestyle?

I don’t know if this type of question applies to me because I don’t think like a standard entrepreneur — start your business, develop it, grow it. I start my business, organize it, and then focus on my family. The next day, give the business whatever it needs, keep it rolling, and then back to family. I can’t really measure my thoughts of how I drive my business.

Who helped you on your entrepreneurial journey? What programs, organizations, or people would you like to shout out?

Spark Fairborn. I met Tonya Fish about ten years ago because she started the Dayton Food Truck Association. When Tonya started Spark, I looked into it, but I wasn’t ready. Now, I think Spark is very receptive. They have given me a space to work on the business, and they introduce us to many people that will help us grow Matria. Spark is having new people and management come in. Rebecca is there now, and she really takes the time to listen to me and understand where I want to go.

Why do you love what do you?

Everything. It depends on the time of my life or the season, but everything. Even when the process challenges me — if something comes out too hot, the dough rises too fast, something is too acidic, I have to figure out how to make it better for the next day. I open the doors of my shop and am with myself focusing on my work for eight hours, then when the doors close, I’m back to my family.

How can the Launch Dayton community support you?

Pay attention to what we announce and try to understand as much information as we can give. That would be the best. For now, since it is a one-man show, follow Matria on Facebook and keep up to date with us there.

Curious if Spark Fairborn is the right place for your growing food & bev venture? Learn more here.