Restaurateur Strives to be ‘Radically Better’
Indianapolis-based Patachou Inc. founder Martha Hoover says restaurants are "fertile grounds" for advancement opportunities for women. During a special edition of Inside INdiana Business Television focusing on women who are molding the state’s entrepreneurial landscape, Hoover say she wants her restaurants to be "radically different and radically better." Her group, made up of 90 percent executives who are women and 80 percent female managers, currently consists of 11 locations. Hoover got into the restaurant business more than 25 years ago under circumstances that most would’ve considered "a recipe for disaster."
In the late-1980s, Hoover, a lawyer who had previously never worked in a for-profit industry, says she was pregnant with her third child and had no previous restaurant experience when she opened her first restaurant in Indianapolis. Cafe Patachou now has multiple locations and has built the foundation for a full portfolio of other dining concepts including Petite Chou Bistro and Champagne Bar, Napolese Artisanal Pizzeria and Wine Bar and Public Greens an Urban Kitchen Greens and Grill.
Hoover says one of the company’s driving principles is sustainability, and not just from a profitability standpoint. "In terms of having an ecosystem that is Patachou, we have so many facets of the company that are really critical," Hoover told Gerry Dick. "We really want to be set apart in terms of the quality of our food, the quality of our customer service and the quality of our service to staff and community."
Her acumen has gained attention outside of Indianapolis. Last month, Hoover was announced as a semi-finalist for 2016 James Beard Awards in the Outstanding Restaurateur category.
Hoover’s background serving others helped drive the launch of the Patachou Foundation. She says Indianapolis has "such an issue" with food accessibility and insecurity, especially among children, "so we decided this was something we could really, really turn our philanthropic efforts toward." The nonprofit is pushing to provide 16,000 locally-produced meals to the underserved throughout the year.
She says the company is strong and strategically growing and has "many, many more years in us." Hoover tells Inside INdiana Business Patachou is in negotiations for another restaurant outside of Indianapolis.