Q&A with Martha Hoover


Here at ZESCO, we are proud to have Martha Hoover and Patachou Inc. as a client. When Hoover announced she was opening Public Greens: Urban Kitchen with a Mission, we couldn’t wait to meet with her and get to work.

Public Greens is a farm-market inspired urban cafeteria and microfarm located right along the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple. All profits and crops go to feeding kids via The Patachou Foundation. Inside, you’ll find everything from their famous fried chicken to Kung Pao Broccoli with a fresh menu that allows you to create your own unique dish by mixing and matching ingredients.

Our own Annie Zoll had a Q&A session with Hoover to get the inside scoop about why she chose to work with ZESCO when opening Public Greens.

public-greens-dish[1] public-greens-plating[1] public-greens-patachou-dish[1]

How did ZESCO support you with the unique and innovative design of Public Greens kitchen?

“The concept of Public Greens was new and unlike anything ZESCO’s design team had worked on before, and the building presented size, layout and venting challenges. Even so, ZESCO delivered a kitchen that not only looks beautiful but works beautifully too. Their design team was easy for us to work with, they listened to everything we said and in the end our needs were completely met. There was no up-selling of equipment we truly did not need or want and no one ever complained when we asked for just ‘one more meeting.’ I’ve worked with other design teams and other equipment companies and feel that, without a doubt, ZESCO’s customer service is in a stand-alone category in our city. I believe that ZESCO fights hard for their customers-both before a purchase order is signed and after the equipment is delivered and put to use.”

patachou-public-greens-range[1]You have quite the eye when it comes to selecting china, Martha Hoover! One of my favorite and most celebrated table tops in Indianapolis is at Public Greens because of the mixing of china patterns. What do you like most about your china?

“Tabletop can be so ubiquitous anymore. I needed plates and serving pieces that were as unusual as our concept to further underscore our uniqueness. Additionally, I wanted dishes that also spoke to the food and referenced the concept’s ‘farm’ heritage. The dishes also needed to be price-conscious and able to withstand the abuse that occurs in a busy restaurant. I really feel that we have the prettiest plates in the city and I love that customers won’t see these items everywhere they dine. Daily, our diners ask where they can buy our dishes for their own use at home.”

What elements of Public Greens open kitchen design do you find most appealing? What elements do you find most efficient?

“The kitchen is in plain view of customers meaning that it has to look great at all times. Our kitchen at Public Greens is also extremely small. Even so, the organization of the line is particularly appealing to the eye and the kitchen makes perfect sense work-wise from a chef’s perspective. In the case of Public Greens, form and function are one – something that is often missing in professional kitchens. Again, I credit the ZESCO team for understanding our standards for both aesthetics and operations. They studied our menus, had knowledge of our food prep and execution needs, understood the quirkiness and limitations of our physical space and created a design that functions perfectly for us and is aesthetically pleasing for customers.”

What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?

“Admittedly, these days I am not the one cooking, but I am particularly fond of our convection oven with steam function. This piece allows for the cooking of a vast variety of items and takes up a small footprint on our line.”

For more on Churchill China Products click here

For all Churchill China sales inquiries, contact our tabletop specialist Annie Zoll at annie@zesco.com

patachou-foundation-tee-shirtWant to learn more about the Patachou Foundation? The Foundation feeds healthy after-school meals to children impacted by homelessness and hunger, and while feeding them increases their awareness, connection and excitement about the whole food they are eating. The future vision is that over time, additional Public Greens restaurants can be established to help feed and fund The Patachou Foundation as well as benefit our community.You can help support The Patachou Foundation by purchasing a Fight The Unacceptable t-shirt at public greens or online.Also, don’t miss the 3rd Annual Patachou Foundation Speaker’s Forum on February 18, 2016 featuring Jordyn Lexton, Founder of Drive Change in NYC. A former Rikers Island teacher, Jordyn started Drive Change to rehabilitate young adults facing the detrimental impact of the criminal justice system. Drive Change builds and operates food trucks as a tool to give opportunity for young adults coming out of the justice system to live fully-employed, crime-free lives. You can purchase your tickets here.

Photos courtesy of Stacy Newgent

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