Nina J Ventura is part owner of Ventura's Restaurant in Utica, NY and founder of Ventura's Pride, Inc. She was born on January 3, 1978 daughter of Rufus J. and Joy Ventura. It was evident at a very young age that she had a keen sense of business. Nina love the restaurant, but unlike her older brother, there was no interest in cooking, she was all business. As any little girl, Nina idolized her father and loves people. As a teenager she would work in the restaurant doing various jobs. She worked the cloak room, bussed tables and upon turning 18 she began serving. All the while she watched and learned from her father, who in her opinion is the best business man she has ever known.
She focused on his every move and always says "it is amazing, it is like my dad has eyes in the back of his head. He never misses a trick." This is critical to running a restaurant, because if you are not there, it is not yours. Although Nina loved the restaurant business, she excelled academically and her parents were adamant on her attending college, achieving her bachelor's degree and then making the decision of what she wanted to do. Upon graduating New Hartford Senior High School, Nina attended and graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University, fulfilling her family's as well as her own dream. She attended college full time and worked at the restaurant full time as well.
Upon graduating college, there was no doubt that the restaurant business was what she wanted to do. Nina always states that the best learning experience she has ever known is working in the restaurant. "What I've learned here over the years can never be taught from a book. It is a hands on education." Her main objective was to put Ventura's Restaurant on the map.
In 2005, Rufus and Nina decided to find a way to have a taste of Ventura's available to all at anytime. They decided to bottle their marinara sauce. Nina researched the different avenues that needed to be taken to make this possible and in 2006, made it happen. In March 2006, she formed Ventura's Pride Inc. in August 2006 the first batch of Ventura's Restaurant Gourmet Marinara Sauce was produced by Nelson Farms. With her grandparent's memory and dream at heart, her father's wisdom, her brother's unmatched skill and her business savvy, a great product was born.