Mountain View Produce Gardens

One of the successful enterprises of Mountain View is the business known as Ratoo Gardens, Inc., and which requires an amount of skilled labor, daily and constant attention, and a business management that would do credit to a more pretentious corporation.  One of the three owners is Giacomo Malatesta, popularly known among his friends as "Jack" Malatesta.  A native of Italy, he was born at the seaport town of Genoa, on November 6, 1876, the son of ANtonio and Teressa (Torre) Malatesta, and the latter as born,  lived and died at Genoa.  She reared a family of seven children, all living except Maria, who passed away in Italy.  Emilio and his sister live in Genoa; Giacomo, of this sketch; Frank is a merchant on Laguna Street, San Francisco; Harry lives on Autumn Street, San Jose, and is the owner of a twenty-four acre orchard near Santa Clara; Luigia is the wife of Bernadett Crovo, a partner with Frank Malatesta in the mercantile business in San Francisco.  The father, who was  a chef, left his Genoa home many years ago and came to America; for some time he as chef at the Castro and Europe hotels in San Jose and was well known here; later he returned to Genoa and passed away there.  After attending the public schools of Italy, Giacomo Malatesta learned the bricklayer's trade and also worked on farms in his native country.  He served in the Italian army for twelve months, and when term of his service expired, he crossed the ocean to New York, coming on to San Jose, reaching here January 1, 1878.  Here he met his father and soon he went to work on ranches and orchards in Santa Clara County, and later at Lindsay, in Tulare County; for three years he was employed on the ranch of Charles Swall near Mountain View.

In 1910 Mr. Malatesta, with V. Casalengo and John Gamello, as partners, incorporated the Ratoo Gardens, for the raising of all kinds of garden produce.  They operate a tract of twenty acres on miles northwest of Mountain View, the land being owned by John Ratoo, Mr. Malatesta's father-in-law, who has been a resident here for a third of a century.  The company employs from nine to twelve men and supply fresh garden products to Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Stanford, Mayfield , Cupertino, Palo Alto and Menlo Park.  Each of the three managing stockholders drives a three-ton truck,  and go from place to place until the load is disposed of.

Mr. Malatesta was married on December 26, 1909, at San Jose to Miss Minnie Ratto, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Ratto and a native daughter, born at San Francisco.  They are the parents of one daughter, Irene Anna.  Both parents were reared in the Roman Catholic Church and they adhere to the faith of their forbears.
Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1606