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IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD...

 

Yes, I've got Mr. Rogers on my mind! I'm absolutely loving our new neighborhood here on Island Avenue. We're only 2 blocks from our original location on 13th Street, but it feels so different. Here at 1429 Island Avenue, it's like we're in our own little oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle. Neighbors are out and about at all hours of the day, walking their dogs, taking a stroll to dinner, heading off to work.

 

IZOLA Island's outdoor patio also overlooks Fault Line Park, a thoughtfully designed park with a children's playground, art installation and dog park. Our pup Sam LOVES it (you can see a sneak peak of IZOLA behind him above). And we love seeing how it serves as a gathering place for the community.

 

It's also fun to be on Island Avenue because we now share the same street as our industry crush, Callie. Chef Travis has been a customer and supporter since the very early days of IZOLA, always willing to lend us an ear or offer advice to these newbies. Callie is also THE place that Jenny and I go when we feel like being taken care of and filling our bellies with feed-the-soul type of food, or any time we want to celebrate with friends and family. It's also the one and only place that our son will actually eat beets 🤣 because Chef Travis knows how to make them magical.

 

Head on over to Callie's Instagram page and hit FOLLOW because they will soon be announcing a super fun giveaway that I think you'll want to take part in!



 


WHAT WE'RE UP TO

 

It's been a minute since our last update as our days have been filled to the brim as we push toward our re-opening. Lots of unglamorous, but must do, things like...

 

...polishing graffiti off the bathroom tiles, figuring out how to be rid of the flies hovering at the front entrance (the current score - Flies 1, JB 0), updating our safety manual, crawling around in the ceiling working on the HVAC...




...connecting the gas line to our new stove, working on the audio setup so that we can continue with our tradition of hosting musicians at the bakeshop, rolling out our new employee handbook...



...getting the dishwashers installed (hallelujah!), getting the soda station cleaned and maintained, setting up the new coffee station (we'll have an exciting partnership to announce on the coffee front soon!)...



...learning to put epoxy flooring down, thanks to the Sourdough Team for deep cleaning the sourdough walk-in, and too many interviews, meet and greets and trial shifts to count as we begin onboarding our inaugural Island team...


It has been bringing us SOOOO much joy to begin to see new team members around us. Chefs Lidia and Ray have begun training five new Dojo team members as we prepare to launch into production. This week we have two new Bake team members join Chef Lane in training. Our team has been split across the two locations (our original on 13th and the new location on Island Ave) while I put the finishing touches on the new Dojo and Sourdough areas. We'll soon have all teams under one roof at IZOLA Island, which we're really looking forward to. And soon we'll start onboarding and training our Front of House team.

 

We still have a few positions open in all departments! Prior experience is not required, what really matters to us is that you have optimism, kindness, intellectual curiosity, a strong work ethic, empathy, self-awareness, and integrity.

 

  • Front of House: We are seeking people who are passionate about food, community and creating great customer delight. Responsibilities include telling the IZOLA brand story, taking orders, delivering hot-from-the-oven croissants to our dine-in guests, making drinks, helping clean our space, assisting the team with the dishes, assembling our signature gable boxes. In short, helping the team succeed in its mission.  

  • Baker: A dynamic, fast-paced, high-stakes position. Our bakers manage the proof of our croissants, run the ovens while we're open, and apply all finishing touches to the viennoiserie. Our ovens aren't hidden in the kitchen, rather they're right out front, so our Bakers also get to engage with our guests throughout the day.

 

  • Sourdough Production: Our sourdough production team scales our dry ingredients, mixes our dough and records important measurements, prepares the sourdough amendments, shapes loaves, and maintains the kitchen and production equipment.

 

  •  Croissant Production: We are seeking team members who can work independently and consistently follow a specific set of process and procedure with care and attention to detail. You will assist with our croissant production, which will include mixing and laminating our croissant dough, cutting and rolling croissants, maintaining the production equipment, and scaling our dry ingredients.

 

If you'd like to join our team, apply now at the link below. We're moving quickly toward a June reopening and can't wait to chat with you further to see if we might be a good fit!


PAUSE

 

While the entire team has had their nose to the grindstone these past few weeks, I cherish this newsletter because it forces us to press pause and reflect on everything we're creating around us. My mom Twila (aka Grandma Izola's daughter) reminds me to take photos and capture the moment because soon it will become a distant memory - so true....

 

It's been a bit emotional this past week as we baked our last croissant at 13th Street and started to move our equipment out of our original location and over to the new location on Island Avenue. I've been in the studio at 13th Street for over 20 years...It's where so many memories have been made, from raising our son there, to running a film production company, to climbing "movie nights," the first croissants being lowered from our window basket, to IZOLA customers meeting new friends or making new traditions.



And while I was sad to think about leaving this special place, the day itself brought so much joy. Our team, led by AGM Jeff, had the place 100% ready to go on move day - the space was cleared, all tools in place and we were able to hit the ground running. So many people helped, including past and present IZOLA team members, and Pastor Jay from Second Sunday came by to lend a hand. Because of the many helpful hands on deck the morning went by so smoothly.

 

Jenny and I stole a moment at the end of the morning to sit with each other on Big Bird (what we call the big yellow couch in the corner ) and took time to reflect...It was about three years ago that we had moved the new Salva ovens up into the kitchen and it was just Jenny, myself and two team members. To say it was challenging is an understatement! Everyone was exhausted, it was our first time using our custom lift and we just had so much less experience. So to be able to watch our team now move in concert with each other so seamlessly, it filled our hearts with joy. Thank you team!



This week we've had Iker, the technical engineer from Salva, here to lead the install of our new fleet of ovens and proofers, with a close assist from Chef Lane, our Bake Lead.

 

At reopening, we'll be rolling out 4 new proofers, 2 new croissant ovens and 1 new sourdough deck all in support of serving our croissants and sourdough hot from the oven, to everyone who wants one. They'll allow us to minimize the time between when they leave our ovens and to your hands (and mouth!) while also allowing us to bump our production.





Prior to our oven install, we needed to finish our interior paint job. Thank you Mom for the amazing recommendation (if anyone's looking for a reliable painter with great attention to detail, email Jenny and she'll pass you Rodolfo's info). Rodolfo and his team worked day and night to complete the project within a week to keep us on schedule.


And my absolute favorite tool during this renovation period?? Pictured right here - the scissor lift! Each and every team that has been through has been able to utilize it and it has made our efficiency skyrocket! When in doubt, rent a scissor lift.




And the question on everyone's mind - when will we be re-opening?? We have not set a date yet, and while the project is moving along at a break-neck speed, mid-May is not likely as we're still waiting on our permits. We also have a big team to hire and train, but that can't happen until the space is ready to host them. So best estimate is June. Stay tuned.....

 

PS - If you're enjoying our reno updates, follow us on Instagram where we're posting a lot of updates to our Stories these days, like the afternoon Jenny and I became enamored with our new power washer...



 

JOIN THE TEAM

 

With over 20 positions to fill, the amazing Jenny has been glued to her laptop booking and holding interviews like crazy. By my count she's combed her way through over 300 applications and scheduled 65 interviews these past 7 days...Don't believe it?! Here's a peek at her calendar:



You know we love our metrics, so you'll see she was allowing for a little buffer in between calls in case calls ran over, but as she started noticing a much higher no-show rate than last year, she's just stacking 'em up back to back.

 

We've had some really strong candidates move to our second round of in person meet and greets, and for production roles, a third round paid trial shift. Our team is getting really excited with who we've already extended offers to.

 

But we still have a ways to go! So...if you or someone you know is looking to join a team of hard working, passionate individuals, take a look at our open positions!


 

HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT THE OG IZOLA



Did you know that our 13th Street location is available for event bookings? Imagine holding your next event in the light, bright, airy loft space that has brought so many people together here at IZOLA. We have hosted Grammy award-winning musicians, marriage proposals, birthday parties, art gallery pop ups, production shoots, you name it...it's happened here...

 

For more details, check out our site where you can also place a request to book and we'll reach right back out to you.


 

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