It all started as an idea to raise funds to send her daughter on a school trip to Europe ten years ago.
Patricia Hochhaus had learned to make homemade pasta while studying abroad in Italy while pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in architecture from the University of Rhode Island and had concocted a filling recipe.
The concept of Maui Pasta was born in 2012 when she started selling her homemade pasta made with Durham semolina flour infused with fresh Maui herbs in her driveway and before she knew it, her pasta had left the aisle to appear at farmers markets before heading to the grocery store shelves.
Nearly three years after first selling their first noodles in her driveway, Patricia and her husband Ron Inman decided to open a shop called Maui
Pasta where they could bring the tastes of Italy that Patricia fell in love with while studying in Italy on the Big Island of Maui.
Both were thrilled to have the space open for business and it became all they could think of.
“It was our passion and we spent every minute of the day talking about Maui Pasta and how to build it,” Patricia said.
Almost nine months into their business, tragedy struck when Ron was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Before he died two months after his diagnosis, Ron gave his wife advice that she has taken with her ever since.
“One of the things my husband told me before he passed away was that I could handle this on my own,” Patricia said.
However, it turned out to be a bigger challenge than she had anticipated. Not only did she have to learn how to handle the marketing, administrative and hospitality responsibilities of the business, but she also had to learn how to do it while nursing a broken and grieving heart.
To cope with her husband’s passing, Patricia joined an online grief support group where she met Stephen Hochhaus, who had lived in Scottsdale all his life, is the owner of Portfolio Picture Framing, Inc. and had lost his woman in 2011.
A friendship began to form between the two after they started chatting online.
“He became my best friend through my grief and everything I was going through,” Patricia said.
A painting breaks the ice
As well as learning how to make delicious pasta while studying abroad, Patricia had also fallen in love with Italian art and started painting.
As Stephen and Patricia continued to converse, Stephen floated an idea he was working on to host an art gallery in his shop and donate the proceeds from the art sale to Hospice – as he felt indebted to Hospice for the care he had given to his wife. with before his death.
Patricia loved the idea and brought with her one of her favorite paintings – a painting called ‘Nature’s Shadow’ – which featured a woman gazing ominously at a hibiscus bush.
The painting caught Stephen’s eye and he knew at first glance that he had to buy it.
“I was so drawn to this painting that I had to buy it,” Stephen said.
He also bought it with the intention that the painting would one day return to Patricia’s possession.
“When I bought this painting, I thought she was going to get it back one day because it was so important to her,” Stephen said.
The painting would return as the two wed in 2017.
Bringing Maui Pasta to the Wilderness Patricia admits she never intended to leave Maui, but after marrying Stephen her business began to experience turbulence.
Maui Pasta started having lease issues and even a serious electrical fire.
Although Patricia tried to find new space on the island, she eventually agreed to pack her kitchen into a capsule and join her husband in the westernmost town of the west.
After moving to Scottsdale, Patricia spent two months researching the best space to settle down when she found the perfect space in The Shops at Gainey Ranch.
“The property had gone through a transition and this place was the right size,” Patricia said.
The space was also a short drive from the residence she shared with her new spouse.
“We wanted to be a little closer to home because, frankly, we go back and forth more than once a day,” Stephen said. “My business is 8 minutes south of where we live and his business is 8 minutes north of where we live.”
The likes of Maui follow
Almost three years after opening her Scottsdale boutique, it emerged that Patricia was about to turn a profit for the first time in her new space when her business came to a screeching halt – along with the rest of the world.
“We had a really strong lunch before the pandemic and the pandemic hurt us a lot,” Patricia said. “One of the things we liked about this space is that it’s surrounded by office space and there are single-level residences. We thought it was perfect because all offices could come in for lunch and all residents could come in for dinner or takeout.
Looking for a way to jump-start her business, Patricia decided to play along by adding the other food she knew best and was passionate about.
“Pasta is very heavy and we have a lot of hot months, whereas Hawaiian food is food to eat when you’re hot and it’s hot outside,” Patricia said. “I thought it was the perfect thing to add when pasta is too heavy for the warm months.”
Because of this, she started Aloha Hawaiian Plate Lunch.
However, the plates became so popular that people wanted to eat this food for dinner.
For this reason, pastas and Hawaiian lunches are now served simultaneously on two separate menus.
Patricia has also started offering catering packages that can serve 12 to 200 people to combat the loss of business she suffered when offices sent employees to work from home.
However, the woes continued as Maui Pasta tries to recover from the pandemic.
“I’ve always wanted to be open seven days a week all day so people can still get our food, but that comes at a cost with the employees and it’s been about six months since I had to change our hours,” said Patricia said. “We won’t be staying open for dinner service because we do so much lunch catering that I have to have two chefs here and I would become too much.”
Maui Pasta is currently open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the cafe and pasta shop and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the restaurant, takeout, and delivery.
Info: Maui Pasta is located at 7704 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd, mauipasta.com