What I Know: Martha Hoover

The Patachou founder has two new ‘chous on the way.

Age: 57  Gig: Founder of Patachou Inc., with two new ’chous on the way.
Fresh Approaches:
The mother of three is close to introducing a farm-to-fork eatery called Public Greens and her first gelato emporium, Gelo.


The most fun thing I do is the opening. But once the key is turned, the door is open, and the lights are on, I get bored and need another burst of creative juice to keep me going.

When you take relationships seriously, it creates an incredible amount of loyalty. We don’t have a huge revolving door with staff, customers, or vendors because we value relationships. That is the best way to create a sustainable business model.

I need a clutter-free, clean environment. So things like stored mug handles that aren’t facing the same direction unnerve me. It drives me nuts.

I don’t have a Plan B. I only have Plan A. Although Plan A can morph and change a little, I don’t have a backup plan. I’m remarkably positive and confident in what my Plan A is. It does not occur to me to be any other way.

Pilates, yoga, baking, and reading are my creative outlets. When I’m in Indianapolis, I don’t have much balance. I’ve accepted it. I really like working.

To find balance, I leave town. And I don’t like going away for more than three or four days. Those shorter trips give me remarkable energy and perspective. I do some of my most creative work by going away and working in hotels. I love it.

I’ve taught my children that the difference between good and great is about 15 minutes.

As a mom, I never made fussy meals at home. Just the act of sitting down has made an impact on my kids. That’s time I have never regretted.

I miss the old Broad Ripple. It was a small community that was an incubator for small, independent businesses and restaurants. It’s kind of gotten away from that. I miss that flavor.

I’d really love to see a true return to neighborhoods and smaller spaces. It’s really vital that we know one another.
—as told to Trisha Lindsley
Photo by Tony Valainis.
This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue.