Petaluman's Journey from Hot Dog Stand to Wealth Management

LYNN SCHNITZER

FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER | February 7, 2017

Petaluma-born-and-raised Matthew Larrabure has worked his way into a fascinating career, dispensing financial advice through his association with The FPI Group with Merrill Lynch. Way before that however, young Larrabure explored several occupations, and remembers starting up a hotdog cart business in downtown Petaluma 10 years ago with three college friends.

“We liked hanging out, but said to each other, ‘hey, there’s nothing to eat downtown at night,’ because all the restaurants then would close by eight or nine,” he said. “We did all the research, got our permits and our health department clearance and ran that business for a couple years. It was fun.”

Subsequent endeavors include running a house-painting business with his brother and working for a local real estate developer.

Larrabure started as an assistant at Merrill Lynch 10 years ago now and moved up with the team he was working for. He credits his partners for inspiring him to continue with wealth management.

“They taught me to be genuine and real to clients, and to take care of them. If you take care of your clients and do the right thing every time, they will be with you for a long time,” he said.

Looking for interesting things to do around town, Larrabure and his wife Kate joined the Petaluma Active 20-30 Club in 2012. Larrabure served as its treasurer for three years, then vice-president and now president of the club. Petaluma Active 20-30 is a community service organization that focuses on raising money for local children along with actively working directly with them.

“Our main ‘give back’ is our annual children’s shopping spree where we take kids back-to-school shopping,” he said. “They get over $160 worth of new clothes that they like and want, and that fit along with school supplies, shoes, haircuts and more.”

This past year, the club was able to sponsor 50 kids, the most the club has ever done.

“We, the members, actively support and work on different kid-based activities, doing all the work ourselves. The money we raise stays here locally in our direct community and 100 percent of donations go toward supporting kids,” Larrabure said.

Larrabure has been part of the Petaluma Toastmasters club for many years and supports his childhood church, First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma. Also a member of the Novato Chamber of Commerce, and involved with a small business — a local business-networking group he put together with a friend, Larrabure said he’s got a good, but slightly sarcastic sense of humor and a positive attitude.

“I try to treat people with happiness every day. My philosophy is to be nice to people, be happy and positive,” he said. “You never know what people have going on in their life. Being happy, friendly and helpful goes a long way.”