Owner of Palette, a cafe and co-working community
In the past decade, coworking spaces have been a rising industry in American culture and the need for them is only growing. These flexible workspaces are a favorable avenue for large companies seeking spaces for employees and also for the remote worker that needs a conducive working environment. They offer a space for productivity and collaboration. At first, coworking spaces seemed like a trend, but now, they are rising to be the most sought out workspace.
Oftentimes, remote workers will find themselves at a busy cafe with long lines, limited seating and sometimes, pure chaos. This can create a lack of productivity. Although we all love our favorite coffee shops, sometimes they aren’t the most productive work space.
Catherine Hover, owner of Palette, felt a disconnect between the cafes and consumers. As a young mother of three as well as a business owner Hover's life has always been in flux, living on the fly. At the time she needed more, a space with larger parameters that didn’t fit inside the usual “box.” She was seeking a multi-use facility that houses variety; a cafe, a board room, a place to meet and an event space. A space where both she and the community could grow.
“If i'm gonna have a board room i want it to be colorful and creative. I want it to spark conversation and innovation. I wanted a more leveled up cafe experience.”
She began to seek out co-working spaces but had trouble identifying with the environments. They all seemed to have a “corporate feel” or were “too professional” or “overly contemporary” for her liking. A vibe that didn’t mix with that of her own. She wanted to find a co-working space that was approachable and reflected her personality. She knew that if she was seeking such a space that other people (especially women) were also looking for a place that is safe, comfortable and a consistently productive working environment.
Hover went to numerous coffee shops and paid attention to how they functioned and what worked well for her as a consumer. She took note that all the coffee shops in Saratoga had very masculine vibes.
“I wanted to create a space that reflected who I was. It's colorful, it’s lively, positive, unapologetic, and female focused.”
In the summer of 2019, Hover opened a cafe and co-working community. The space she is talking about here is what Palette has become.
“Coffee is an emerging industry. Women meet people in coffee shops; in public spaces. I wanted to create a safe space for women.”
Having already owned multiple successful businesses she was no stranger to knowing what it takes to make bright ideas become reality. In the beginning Palette was going to be just a co-working space, but then Hover found the perfect building at 493 Broadway Street on the bustling main drag in downtown Saratoga Springs. With its unusual recessed patio, she always loved the building and knew it needed to be a cafe. After a rigorous demolition job, reconstruction of the space and a complete interior design facelift they managed to get the cafe up and running prior to the co-working space. The space is approachable to all. It is bold and stands proud. It’s a mix of both feminine and masculine touches. There is a variety of tones from soft, warm colors to bold and vibrant patterns. Also, you gotta love the dark blue trim!
Hover held a meet and greet event with the intent to share the future projections for the site. She discussed how they had opened the cafe but still needed the community space and described what memberships would offer. Going into the meeting she thought she may gain a few remote workers but by the end of it there was so much enthusiasm. The initial people that joined were incredible. Working individuals that wanted to utilize the space for communal reasons and as a tool to help advance in their careers, as well as to help others. She couldn't believe the overwhelming support.
“It's a cafe on the front side but more than that it's a community of women and emotionally evolved men who join here to get the resources and support in your career and in life. We don’t claim to be experts in what you need, it's more. We allow you to speak up and tell us what you need…We want to be able to provide the tools and support you need to make those things happen."
Palette is a community gathering space where people can be innovative and truly feel welcome to be themselves. They are encouraged to share and express ideas. It's a place where all people are treated with equal respect. The cafe offers artisanal crafted coffee, cocktails and delicious food. As a member of Palette you can find super reliable wifi (this can be a real problem, haha), clean and spacious bathrooms, unlimited coffee (yes, I did say that!) and wine, conference rooms, accessibility to workshops and seminars, super discounts around town and so much more. You get to be a part of the Palette community where your ideas are heard and recognized, a place where you feel warm and are welcome. Hover says she has built Palette to be very consumer focused.
“You cross that threshold in the cafe, and think, ok this is different.”
At Palette, they strive to get to know their customers and build interpersonal connections on a deeper level from the moment someone walks in the door.
“The community transcends the physical space. The cafe is an amenity to our membership. It's open to the public. It provides service to the members that pay to be there.”
Sourcing inspiration from your neighbors and acknowledging skillsets of your fellow community members can be a very useful tool. She continually reaches out to the community for help.
“I'm really big on collaborations. Your biggest competitor is not your competitor. It's your biggest collaborator.”
She doesn’t believe in competition. Prior to opening Hover reached out to local coffee roaster, Kru Coffee, who have been meticulously crafting locally roasted coffee since 2016. They helped develop her coffee program, sourced all the equipment, roast all their coffee and even has created a special Palette blend. Kru Coffee continues to stay engaged and performs ongoing training sessions with all the cafe’s baristas. It’s important for local businesses to work with and not against each other. Hover is all about creating a stronger community and the only way to do that is with one another's help. Chef Sam Pierre created a divine menu that is equally sweet as it is savory. You can get a range of delightful food from delicious scones to a wholesome curry chicken salad.
In April of 2020 with the exceptional support of her members Hover successfully opened a second location in Schenectady, NY during the covid - 19 pandemic. She said through Palette’s unique onboarding process they asked members where they would like to see another communal space. Schenectady had the largest interest. Hover said,
“I feel like I'm reflecting the space of the people around me.”
Everyone has a voice in the community and they encourage each other to vocalize their thoughts and opinions. They lean on one another. The members are what makes Palette and what drives it to continue to grow. Everyone is able to express their individuality. They are noticed and recognized. It’s a member driven and community built organization.
It is clear that Hover has a mission to help people now and also give back to the next generation. Being a mother of three girls she feels the need to exemplify a strong and empowering example for her children. She is challenging the social and cultural norms in the Saratoga community. Since the Covid - 19 pandemic there has been a large influx of people moving to Upstate NY. Saratoga has seen a rise in population and at this rate, it will stay this way for the foreseeable future. It is unique in that it attracts tourists for all four seasons which also makes it a destination to move permanently.
“We need to diversify our offerings. Saratoga is an emerging city that’s growing.”
New cultural, social and political strategies need to be implemented and boundaries need to be pushed out of the way for new and innovative ideas. With Saratoga's rising notability, traditional ways of thought need to be challenged with a modern approach.
“I created a community that I wish I had in my life when I first moved here, or when I was first starting out.”
Hover says she created what she needed in her life ten years ago. She went through postpartum depression, helplessness and hopelessness. Depression numbers have been rising and is a mental health disorder that many struggle with.
“I got lucky. I just so happened to be around people that recognized that. Not everybody’s lucky. How can we make people’s challenges easier for them and not feel alone. I was put on earth to help women and emotionally evolved men.”
Now she is the happiest she has ever been in her life. Not only is she able to help others, she can give back to those that have helped her. Too many people feel alone and have nowhere to turn, or at least don’t know where to start. The safe space of Palette welcomes everyone. The emotional connection Hover has with Palette is incredibly apparent in all aspects of the business.
Hover’s undeniable spark of energy and enthusiasm to help people is transcendent. What she has created in such a small amount of time is incredibly impressive. Palette members have a place to call home and an open space to be themselves. This is not like any other co working space. It is more than that. It is a community. Hover quoted one of her members Martel Catalano who is the executive director of Beyond My Battle, a Saratoga based non profit helping people with illnesses and disabilities. She said,
“We are all just a bunch of animals walking on a rock but we are human and we need other humans to exist and to evolve; and to get through life.”
This holds so much truth. People often get caught up in their busy daily lives and forget about how we co-exist and that we can help each other.
“The best thing I could do is connect with other humans to evolve.”
This is Palette. Connecting people on a higher level. Establishing true relationships that are effective, and of course drinking good coffee and wine while doing it! From the first moment Moxxi made connection with Hover we knew that she would be unique and compelling to converse with. Hover’s email signature states, “Purveyor of Fun,” and boy is that true.
She is all about creating a pleasurable experience and cultivating happiness. Palette is educated and honest but also a place where it is encouraged to just have fun, let loose and be you.
Do not miss out on the opportunity to see what Palette has to offer! If you are not local to the Saratoga area they offer an array of online classes and tutorials. If you are in the Capital Region stop in either cafe in Saratoga or Schenectady, they are open to the public.
Current hours: Every day from 9AM - 3PM.
Saratoga Springs, NY: 493 Broadway Street
Schenectady, NY: 508 State Street
Q + A with Catherine Hover
Q: Any last words? Words of wisdom, happy thoughts...could be anything!
A: “You just have to keep going because you don't know where it's gonna lead to.” “Find your people. It's so important” “Always surround yourself with people that believe in you - then you will believe in you.”
Q: Any advice for someone who wants to start a new venture but is struggling?
A: “Find someone that looks like you that's doing it. That can expand your mind to believe that you can do whatever it is that you want to do.”
Q: How do you wind down?
A: Hover needs forced quiet, turning off her phone and zoning out. Her favorite thing for this is going to the movies. She says she needs a deprivation tank!
Q: How do you take your coffee?
A: Currently, a vanilla latte with oat milk. When she first opened the shop her daily drink was their FroCo’s which is Palette’s version of a frappe.
Q: What do you love about coffee?
A: "It's a safe place, It's a moment to yourself. It lifts me up in so many different ways!”
Moxxi’s favorite quote from Hover?
A: “The proof is in the execution of it.”
What Moxxi found inspiring from Hover?
A: She says that in order to make something happen you need to take action. Be insistent.
"“I’m a very action oriented person, I have to take the action to make it happen. I’ve certainly been underestimated. I’ve executed everything I've said that I’m going to do.”
We need to allow ourselves to learn and also implement.
“You can watch a Disney movie and be inspired, that doesn’t cut it for me. You have to take the action and people need to see the action being taken.”
Things to look forward to at Palette?
A: This weekend! Check out the “Here For Its Summit” event on November, 14th. This is a day long event filled with discussions on how modern women can level up in career and life. You can still sign up at.
Go to the events page on the website for more happenings at both locations and online.
How can you get involved or find out more information?
A: Visit: https://www.thepalettecafe.com
All the information you need to know is here and you can contact them directly for more information.
Written & Curated By | Krysta Kearney, Moxxi Coffee Co.
Keep updated on Catherine and Palette! Follow her at the links below.
WORK WEBSITE: https://www.thepalettecafe.com/about/
WORK FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/palettecommunity/