Years together: 7
Occupation: Josh Loeb, co-owner; Zoe Nathan, co-owner and head baker at Huckleberry, Rustic Canyon, Milo & Olive and Sweet Rose Creamery
Time Out: How did you meet?
Zoe Nathan: Our moms had become friends in a book group, and Josh’s mom had gotten a bee in her bonnet that she wanted to set us up. So she tried to set us up but Josh wasn’t interested in being set up, and neither was I.
Josh Loeb: I didn’t even know I was being set up! My mom told me that she knew we needed a pastry chef.
ZN: I called and asked, "Are you guys looking for a pastry chef?" I was kind of confused and didn’t know if it was a date or a job interview. I wasn’t even looking for a job, and it ended up being a job interview. We ended up working together, then dating shortly after.
Time Out: What was your first impression of each other?
ZN: There was something about Josh…he was one of the first guys that I had met who wasn’t a martyr in this business. He worked really hard, and I thought that was very cool.
JL: I thought she was adorable. At first I thought she was 12, because she was so giggly on the phone. It was one of those situations where, because I didn’t think I was being set up, I was able to be natural about the whole thing. From the beginning we saw who the other person was.
Time Out: When you opened Huckleberry together, were you worried that anything would change in your relationship?
ZN: It was fucking crazy!
JL: Here’s the thing: like every couple, we're similar in a lot of ways and different in a lot of ways. It takes me a while to process things and I’m a little calmer, and Zoe is a little more like “let’s just do this.” You need both, but those two things create friction.
ZN: When you’re opening a place, everybody feels crazy and everybody loves and hates each other. But you’re in a marriage and you can say that. Normally, if your boss is out front and schmoozing and the whole kitchen is going down, and your boss comes back you’re like, “Hey man." When that boss is your husband, you’re like, "What the fuck are you doing!?" You can let your emotions go. I actually don’t think I could do what I do without having my partner be my husband. I think that’s so much more fun than going home to your other husband and being like, “Oh, I’m so mad at my boss.” Now we can just duke it out. I think we’ve learned how to know what’s important to fight about.
Time Out: Are you guys big on gifts?
ZN: We are not gift people.
JL: Well, I’m big on experiential gifts.
ZN: I bought him a record player, and now everything we do as a family is centered around the record player—mostly around the Alvin & the Chipmunks record, which is pretty awesome. Things like that make our house a home.
Time Out: Josh, how did you propose?
JL: Everything moved very quickly in our relationship. We started dating in November 2007, and in January 2008 Zoe said, “Maybe we should talk about maybe moving in together.” So I was like, “Yeah, let’s talk about moving in.” She said “Alright, cool, I’m going to move in tomorrow.” She said she didn’t want to be away from her books.
ZN: I like to sleep with my books! He told me I could bring over some books, and I just brought everything.
JL: We were living together for two months, and we were going to Paris that summer. I think it seemed obvious that a proposal would happen there, and I hate obvious. So I decided I was going to ask her before that, because I knew she would be expecting it. My plan was that we were going to go back to a cove in Santa Barbara by a hotel that we had been to before. I had the ring in my bag, but everything was going wrong. We usually are able to check in early, but the room wasn’t ready and the hotel was packed. I was like, "Ok, let’s go for a walk, but I need my bag." She said “Just leave your bag at the front desk,” and I was like, "No I need my bag!"
ZN: I was like, "Why are you being so weird?"
JL: We start walking up this bluff area and the spot where I want to propose is packed. There’s a huge sign that says “Off limits, don’t enter,” so I said, "Do you want to walk in there?" And she’s like, "No, I don’t want to walk on the cliff, you’re being crazy." It’s imploding. Zoe said, “I’m sick of this. Maybe we just need a little bit of time apart right now.” I just got down on one knee and said, “Nope, I think we need to spend the rest of our lives together.” And she was like, "What? What? Yes! Yes!"