The Rose of Troy

“Fearless” Patty Rose tackles Troy’s tough projects

By Joyell Nevins

Photo: “I’m an idea person and a big picture thinker.” – Patty Rose; photo: Paul Noah

If you want to see what high school football pride is all about, visit a Troy-Piqua football game in the town of Troy, Ohio. If you want a mom and pop hamburger, visit K’s in downtown Troy. And if you need a kick in the pants to get moving or get your ideas rolling, talk to Patty Rose, the woman who is quickly becoming someone to be noticed in this tight community north of Dayton.

“They come to me for a ‘Patty-fix,’” Rose laughs. “I’m an idea person and a big picture thinker. And I know we can fix [whatever needs to be fixed!]. That’s what’s nice about a town this size. With the right people, right focus and right ideas together, we can do it!”

If it sounds like Rose is about to break out the pom-poms, you might be right. But her self-called “God-given gift of infectious enthusiasm” comes with a sense of business savvy, persistence and a willingness to work. She refers to her Dutch background as what help formed her strong work ethic.

“Work hard and play hard,” she says.

Although, her form of play is checking off a to-do list. “It just depends on what you call fun,” Rose says. “To me, the most fun is huge accomplishment. Fun is planning the weekend and getting a whole lot done.”

Like spending eight hours working in a bucket truck to take down the coverings in the second floor of the now Art Vault Gallery building, located in the southeast corner of the Troy Square. Rose is now the owner of that building and four others in Troy—and it started with a kitchen vignette.

Rose purchased the now Allstate building at 220 W. Main St., across from the courthouse, when it was still a five-plex apartment building. She heard about The Lion and Lamb, a former furniture business in downtown Troy, which was supposed to be closing and went to purchase some kitchenettes. Through a serendipitous conversation and a bold phone call to the bank, Rose ended up purchasing the building outright. Within a week, she owned a space on the square, and decided to turn it into an art gallery because of the walls left from the vignette spaces The Lion and Lamb used to sell their kitchens.

“I said, ‘Let’s do this like business people do,’” Rose recalls. She brought artists in, charged them rent but not commission and handled a majority of the marketing, including a monthly art party for the public, long before the Friday Night Shop Hop started.

Along with her house, Rose now owned three buildings within a few blocks in downtown Troy.

“Once I owned three, they called me,” she says, remembering a phone call from the then-owner of the La Bella Viaggio building. “‘Patty Rose,’ he said, ‘I hear you buy buildings—that’s the word on the street.’”

After several interviews and back-and-forth negotiations, Rose became owner of the building at 101 W. Franklin. She turned it from a ladies-only gym into a co-ed gym with salon—and the membership jumped to 368. Now, Rose was handling a gallery, a gym, an insurance agency and apartments.

Rose laughs, “And all I wanted was some kitchens!’”

The success of all the industries she runs—or sets up, like with her husband who now owns the renowned bar The Leaf and Vine—is knowing basic business and management skills.

“Business is business,” Rose says. “You just have to learn the nuances.”

She saw the importance of basic business skills when working for the governor’s Office of Women’s Services in central Louisiana (Rose has lived and worked all over the country, including Minnesota, southern California and Louisiana, before settling in Troy). The point of the agency was supposed to help take care of and find work for women with deceased or disabled husbands.

Rose came in, saw how things were being handled (or rather, not being handled), and turned her focus toward measured outcomes. Rose worked with the local technical college to trade teaching career classes and offering career counseling for a free office space. She said that way she eliminated the government’s expense of the office and placed her right beside the people she was supposed to be helping. In nine months, her programs helped 57 women get jobs.

Her track record is what pushed United Way to pursue her, where Rose worked on a specific and successful marketing campaign—and again changed the way that office ran. She also discovered she works best when on her own schedule.

“I need the freedom to do my job,” she says. “If you try to corral me with a punch clock, it won’t work. I decided after United Way, it’s time to go back to 1099; it’s time to be a business owner.”

For that and several other reasons, Rose ended up in Troy about a decade ago. She loves the seasons, she loves the central location of Ohio and the Dayton area and she loves the size of Troy.

“I love that it’s still small,” Rose says. “Troy is all about quality, not quantity necessarily.”

Rose says she was raised by parents who were “all about servitude,” and that idea of service translates into where you live.

“You have to give back to your community. I really believe in taking care of where you live,” Rose says.

That’s why when Rose was president of Troy Main Street (TMS), her main goal was establishing a Farmer’s Market—which is still thriving on Saturdays on S. Cherry Street.

The idea of giving back is also why Rose said she ran for Troy mayor in 2014—against well-known incumbent Michael Beamish. Although Beamish was into his second term and generally well-liked in the town, Rose emphasizes she wasn’t out to fight against him in particular.

“I wasn’t taking on Beamish; I was offering myself for the mayor position,” Rose explains. In a phone conversation with the mayor to inform him of her candidacy, Rose says she made it clear to Beamish, “I’m not against you, I’m for my community. It’s just time for fresh perspectives.”

Rose saw the city of Troy as a business and felt she could help them spend and conserve their money in better ways. She points to the Hobart Arena, Miami Shores Golf Course and the Troy Aquatic Center, all of which are owned by the city and all of which lost money last year. Considering her successful business endeavors in the past and her energy, Rose felt she had a lot to offer the city.

She lost the mayoral race 42 to 57 percent, although she believes that she got the most “conscious decision” votes.

While at 58-years-old, Rose doesn’t think she will run again for mayor in four years, but she has not given up on her vision for bettering the city of Troy.

Her latest project is to create a downtown market—not a farmer’s market and not a grocery store, but a place where people can buy fresh food and good prepared food. She already has a couple local food sources and businesses ready to climb on board and welcomes more.

“Millennials like good prepared food, where you can watch it being made,” she says. “I think this will be the happening place on a Friday or Saturday night.”

So what keeps Rose going through all these projects and places and businesses? She says it comes down to courage and optimism.

“I am fearless—it’s amazing what you get with simple courage and the power of positive thinking,” Rose declares.

 

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Joyell Nevins at JoyellNevins@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Joyell believes in the power of the written word, a good cup of coffee, and sometimes, the need for a hug (please, no Tommy Boy references). Follow her on her blog “Small World, Big God” at swbgblog.wordpress.com or reach her at joyellnevins@daytoncitypaper.com

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