Who's Who of Professional Women


Denise Ryback

Denise R. Wright Ryback is a renowned and respected entrepreneur in the manufacturing and business industries. Since 2019, she has flourished as the founder of The Porridge Mom Inc., through which she designs custom spurtles, also known as 15th-century porridge stirring sticks that originated in Scotland. The spurtle is recognized as a centuries-old, unique cooking tool that is being applied to new, expanded uses in the kitchen. Inspired to create her stirring sticks by her two adopted sons, whom she rescued from the foster care system and whose health improved upon incorporating porridge oats into their diets, Ms. Ryback promotes her products on her website and in various retail outlets. She also partners with local kitchen stores in her region and Amazon to further publicize and sell her products.

Notably and responsibly, Ms. Ryback’s business utilizes sustainably sourced hardwood maple from Canadian forests, with 100% of the tree used through planting seeds and providing employment opportunities for those in indigenous communities. This product is well-suited as a culinary utensil with non-toxic qualities to stir meals such as porridge, batter, rice, pasta, and cornmeal into a smooth consistency, handcrafted on a wood lathe. Ms. Ryback notes that her spurtles are not made from plastic or metal, thus, they can stir a pot on high heat without melting or scratching it. Moreover, she emphasizes that maple wood is naturally resistant to splitting or staining and is naturally anti-bacterial, making it safe for food use, and it is recognized by the National Sanitation Foundation for use in commercial kitchens. As the founder of her own business, Ms. Ryback manufactures her own spurtles. Alongside her dedication to The Porridge Mom, Inc., she holds trademarks for nine other products.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Ryback was involved in the public speaking arena, having served as a wellness speaker at prominent institutions worldwide, including for DWR For Green Inc. between 1998 and 2006. Likewise, she possesses a rich background in consumer-packaged goods, a field in which she worked in both Canada and the United States. To this end, Ms. Ryback was honored with several accolades and commendations from such prestigious brands as Richardson-Vicks and Colgate-Palmolive. During this time, Ms. Ryback began cultivating her passion for spurtle manufacturing, and in 2018, she participated in the World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland. Notably, she was the first Canadian to be accepted into the championship. She also draws upon a bachelor’s degree in cosmetics, retail, and business management, which she earned from Seneca College.

In accounting for her success, Ms. Ryback credits the influence of her family and her own sense of confidence and innate drive. In this regard, she lends a great deal of gratitude to her sons, both of whom inspired her to continue progressing in her entrepreneurial endeavors. Equipped with an unwavering determination to succeed and a compassionate attitude toward the health of children and families, Ms. Ryback is proud that her business has a 30-32% growth per year, with goals to grow to the North American market.

Looking toward the future, Ms. Ryback aims to expand upon The Porridge Mom Inc., to build her trademark products, and sell them across the globe. As such, she notes that she is proudly continuing her family’s legacy, as her mother and grandmother both spent their lives cooking porridge oats for their children. In addition, she intends to continue serving her community, with a particular emphasis on helping at-risk youth in her area. Married to Philip for many years, Ms. Ryback has two children: Zachary and Andreas. She was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


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