Ratana Stephens founded Nature’s Path Foods with her husband Arran in 1985. As CEO and co-founder, she has grown Nature’s Path to become North America’s largest independent certified organic breakfast and snack food company, while remaining firmly committed to the mission of leaving the earth better than you found it. Ratana remains at the center of every development within the company, which operates on the triple-bottom line of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and financial viability, in that order. Since 2008, Ratana and Arran personally, and additionally through Nature’s Path, have committed to donating almost $40 million to various philanthropic and community service efforts.
My first job ever was… College lecturer in Literature
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I saw a need for something different in the market, be it owning a vegetarian restaurant, or creating an organic cereal. It was also in my blood, my father was also an entrepreneur
My boldest move to date was… Marrying my husband Arran and moving to Canada from India in 1969.
My biggest setback was… We all have setbacks and challenges from time to time. Nothing is insurmountable, you must be resilient.
I overcame it by… I am a person of action. I try to overcome challenges by putting one foot in front of the other, and slowly but surely making progress. Sometimes you must be patient but know that you will eventually get there.
If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I am a voracious reader. I studied literature in university and have carried my passion for reading throughout my life.
When starting my business, I wish I knew… How to establish a cereal manufacturing facility! Instead we learned this through extensive trial and error.
My best advice for people looking to grow their business is… Try to retain as much control as possible, which sometimes means growing at a slower pace than you would like.
A great leader is… Someone who leads with empathy, and by example.
The future excites me because… The future excites me because there is so much to look forward to – the end of the pandemic (god willing), the world opening up again, travel (which I love), new possibilities for our business. But truly what excites me the most, are young people. Their commitment to the environment, their purpose-driven attitude and outlook give me great hope for a better future!
Success to me means… Spending time with family and friends. That is when I feel the most successful.