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WEEKS 2 + 3

Hi, Jenny here! I'm taking over the email update this week because as you'll see below, Jeffrey has his hands full...but he is in his happy place getting out from behind his laptop and getting his hands dirty, problem-solving and working with the stellar contractors that have been working so hard to bring our vision alive. I have absolutely loved seeing Jeffrey in his element - from the massive amount of coordination involved, the strategizing over our electrical, refrigeration, filtration, you name it....he's planned for it...watching him lead four different teams of contractors at once so that we can stay on schedule, finding amazing folks to help us carry this vision forward, it's been nothing short of awe- inspiring.



  • We're almost at the halfway point of the renovations at our new location at 1429 Island Avenue. Some days it's hard to recognize the progress we're making, but as I reflect on the past few days, WOW!

 

  • The carpentry and drywall is nearly complete. And it was thanks to the IZOLA community that we've been able to stay on schedule - you all came out in full force with your recommendations when we put the call out.








  • Thank you thank you thank you to Louie for recommending Gilbert and Fabian - this father and son team has been amazing. They are still here as I write this - at 10p on a Friday night - because they are determined to get the job done right.

 

  • Email me if you'd like their contact info for any projects you've got in the pipeline.











  • They also worked on the neighboring towers Pinnacle on the Park and Spire (pictured here from our roof!), so it was fun that they could come back and work at our space.

 

  • Given the great success we had with asking for help with recommendations, do you know of any great PLUMBERS, HVAC repair and maintenance folks, or COMMERCIAL DOOR REPAIR? Let Jeffrey know!!










We also worked on mockups of our new signage (spoiler alert, we didn't like this version!), our electrical panel installation is nearing completion (thank you Travis and the amazing team from Absolutely Electric), fire sprinkler inspections are underway and hallelujah - we finally got internet! Going two weeks off of hot spots was interesting to say the least...

 

Some things (and people) we're thankful for this week:

 

  • Amazon and Home Depot (who does same day delivery!): We cannot imagine doing a reno like this without them, it would have taken us 5x as long to get done what we've been able to get done so far.



  • Our team: Thanks to Alejandra for the countless projects you've helped push through so far for Island while balancing our plans for IZOLA Main at the same time. To Lane, Lidia and Joseph for continuing to find ways to make our croissants and sourdough better and better and for all the trips to Island, to Jeff for juggling a million balls and managing the daily shift in priorities that we throw at you each day, and to Erick who is the hardest working guy I know (besides Jeffrey!) and a man of so many talents (that's him here getting our kitchen hood in shape!).






  • Simo hot spot: While we were working through our internet struggles we discovered the Simo. We had it up and running in minutes, it was amazingly simple to setup.



















  • The team at Second Chance: We're super excited to partner with you as we build our team back up! We really enjoyed our first interviews with the current Second Chance class. Second Chance offers specialized workforce readiness training, sober-living housing, educational programs and support services for justice involved men, women and youth. We also have an ongoing partnership with Kitchens for Good, who we've worked with for 3 years now and are looking forward to continuing with our partnership.  

 

The list of people we are grateful for just keeps getting longer and longer each day....our community here in San Diego is so special and we can't wait to be back open real soon. Mid-May is still the target!


 


UGLIER THAN EVER

Guess what the IZOLA Core team has been working on this week? Those that have been visiting IZOLA since the beginning might recognize what we're working on bringing back...the Ugly Bit! With our increased oven space, we're sooooo very excited to bring back it back to our menu.

 

What is an Ugly Bit!?! The Ugly is special to me - in the early days of IZOLA, in the midst of Covid, Jeffrey would spend long days baking, and at the end of his day he'd take any scraps of leftover dough, add organic dark brown sugar, raisins, and anything else he had around, roll 'em up and bake them off as treats for our son Sacha and me. So it started as one of the many sweet things that Jeffrey does to show he's thinking about us, but then as IZOLA grew and we had lots of scraps of dough, we decided to add it to our menu and share it with the IZOLA community. Not only are they absolutely mouthwateringly decadent, but we love that it allows us to use dough that we otherwise wouldn't be able to use.

 

Much of the IZOLA Core team had not experienced the Ugly Bit before, so after our first test bake, they confirmed - they're pretty ugly! Uglier the better in our opinion!


 


JOIN THE TEAM


We are kicking our interviewing into high gear! Would you like to join this team of hardworking, passionate, kind, creative, super smart super stars? We are interviewing now for all positions:

 

  • FRONT OF HOUSE: Love a job where you're moving all day and bringing joy to our community through food? Our Front of House team is responsible for welcoming our guests and sharing with them a little bit about IZOLA and how our food is crafted, they'll pack over 1000 items a day and serve over 600 people. IZOLA was named after Jeffrey's grandma Izola - and our Front of House team helps us recreate the warmth and sense of community Grandma Izola always had in her home.  

  • CROISSANT PRODUCTION: Our Dojo team creates all of the buttery deliciousness on our menu, from the Almond Croissants to the Tahitian Vanilla Knots. We are hiring for day and evening shifts, and will soon be expanding into a 3rd graveyard shift too.  

  • SOURDOUGH PRODUCTION: Our Sourdough team is passionate about working with the living creature that is our starter! You'll be responsible for scaling, mixing, shaping and preparing the amendments that get added to our loaves, like roasting whole garlic cloves for our Roasted Garlic Sourdough. We are hiring for day shifts and possibly some evening shifts as well.  

  • BAKE: We are so excited to announce that our ovens are going to be coming out of the kitchen and straight into our dining area! Our guests will now be able to sit at the IZOLA BAKE BAR and watch the bake happen...Our bakers are responsible for managing the proof on our croissants, baking the croissants and sourdough as well as finishing them, and now you'll also get to engage with our guests too.    Please note that while we are targeting a mid-May reopening, our actual reopening date is still a bit of a moving target, so start dates are still not firm. For folks seeking immediate placement, we aren't able to just yet, but we're a few short weeks away, so please stay in touch with us! I Wanna Join the Team!


 

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.


 

WEEK 1

 

We are on day 7 of our tenancy in our new location at the base of the Pinnacle Towers at Fault Line Park and it has just flown by....Here are just a few of the things we tackled this week:


  • Our first contractor arrived on Day 1 and we were all smiles


  • We met with the Downtown Partnership Clean & Safe team, a tremendous resource for us here in the East Village. Their team helps keep folks safe, the neighborhood clean and helps make Downtown San Diego a vibrant neighborhood to live in and visit. If you're in the area often, download their app to easily submit safety and maintenance requests! (And we LOVE San Diego's Get it Done app too!)







  • Jenny submitted her first application for a city permit (for a 40-yard dumpster) and was super grateful for the city's help in getting it submitted properly. She was stoked to see the dumpster arrive and couldn't wait to run the first load! IZOLA Core team member Erick has been crushing it out too - the dumpster is already 3/4 full...












  • We had a whole lot of meetings to push forward on our new signage, door maintenance, plumbing, demo, window repair, lighting...

  • I've learned more than I ever knew I would know about sump pumps...

  • We've had a warm welcome and tremendous support from the Pinnacle security and maintenance teams.













  • A very special visit from mom and dad who came to cheer us on and fill our bellies with Bronx pizza. Thank you! ❤️

  • And thank you to all the new neighbors we've met this week!






One thing I could use some help with though...we're looking for someone who can do framing, sheetrock and add some t-bar ceiling. Know of any smart, hardworking guys or gals who'd be up for a smaller job like this? As we build our construction teams, we're thinking about the future and working to find partners to help bring IZOLA Main and our future bread cafes to life.

 

I'm optimistic we can get back open around mid-May (especially if we can find someone for the job above!). It's an aggressive timeline, but we're gunning for it and doing everything in our power to get back open ASAP.

 

Of course, stay tuned right here — we'll update you along the way and bring you along for the ride as we gear up toward re-opening day!

 

P.S. - If you'd like to join the IZOLA team, we'll be hiring for all positions - front of house, croissant production, sourdough production, and bake. Email Jenny your resume!


 


TENACITY 

 

Our team's got it in spades! Congratulations to the IZOLA Core team for our most recent approval of the testing on our new IZOLA Ramen Croissant! 🎉 We've been sharing pics of this creation for the past few months, but up until this point we still had some details to fine tune to make sure we had the right balance of beauty, flavor and texture. And after FOUR months of testing, the team has nailed it. Big smiles all around when we announced the approval to this hardworking team!




 


I think Jenny likes the new pizza the team has been developing. You got a little something on your face Bunny....❤️

 

And since we're sharing silly photos, thank you Jeff for the unicorn eclipse glasses - they made the solar eclipse even more fun!



 

HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT 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.


 




HIP, HIP, HOORAY!

 

We are so very excited to share some truly great news with you all - we have finalized a new home for IZOLA!

 

Thanks to the assistance of sooo many people (it indeed took a village), Jenny and I received the keys to the new IZOLA this morning.

 

Can you guess where we're heading?

 

  • We'll overlook these grassy knolls

  • A fault line is depicted on a nearby sidewalk

  • Reminiscent of 13th Street, the new location also has big, beautiful windows

  • And as another nod to our original location, this new one has a speakeasy in the basement!

 

Have you guessed it?? IZOLA's new home is at 1429 Island Avenue, between 14th and 15th Street. We're ecstatic to stay in the East Village, just 2 blocks from the OG IZOLA! The East Village community means so much to us...I've been in the current IZOLA space for 24 years. Thanks to the hard work of local residents, elected officials, businesses, and the East Village Association, the East Village neighborhood is flourishing.

 

Today we got to meet our new property manager (Jeff), thank our Location Matters Real Estate Team Lead Hannah, get the keys and also take some of the IZOLA Core Chef team on a tour of the new space (missing from the pic is Jeff Smith our ace AGM, who played photographer today!).




There are so many exciting things to share with you about our new space - like we're finally on the ground floor where you can see us from the street! You'll be able to walk right in without getting buzzed in through our callbox. Groundbreaking, I know! 😉

 

We'll have a big, beautiful heated patio that overlooks Fault Line Park, a public park with a playground and dog park. With the full commercial kitchen, we'll be able to offer new menu items, like a ham and cheese croissant and exciting new flavor drops.

 

Much will remain exactly the same — like serving everything hot from the oven and crafted from the best-tasting ingredients we can find. Just as important as the quality of our food is our team and the feeling of community that we want you to experience when visiting us, so that won't change either.


WHEN WILL WE REOPEN?!

 

Jenny, I, and the IZOLA Core team are working furiously to get back open as soon as we can. We have action-packed weeks ahead of us to put our IZOLA touches on our new home and lots of hiring and training. So, at this moment, the soonest we'll be back open is about six weeks (mid-May).

 

Of course, stay tuned right here — we'll update you along the way and bring you along for the ride as we gear up toward re-opening day!

 

P.S. - If you'd like to join the IZOLA team, we'll be hiring for all positions - front of house, croissant production, sourdough production, and bake. Email Jenny your resume! I Wanna Join the Team!


 



PIZZA + CROISSANT = ❤️

 

My fave food after bread is pizza, I could eat it every night of the week....Who am I kidding, I could eat it for every lunch and dinner of the week!

 

So when IZOLA customer Kari suggested an nduja, pepperoni, burrata, and hot honey croissant - we knew we had to give it a try. First things first - I had to Google what "nduja" was 😆....(it's a spreadable spicy sausage from Calabria - yes, please!).

 

The team has been testing the pizza for the past 2 months and we're getting closer each week. We've tried many different variations on the shape or vessel that would hold the pizza toppings, but in the end, the classic shape is winning for us. We can't wait to fully crack this code because it's gonna be oh-so good...


 


IZOLA MAIN UPDATES

 

Things are moving quickly with our City Heights location, IZOLA Main. IZOLA Main will be the site of our Dough Innovation Center and where all of our future production for IZOLA will happen. It will allow us to not only improve the quality and consistency of our croissants and sourdough, but increase our capacity by 20x, while also creating opportunities for higher wage jobs because of the improved efficiencies gained.

 

Thanks to the coordination of our architects Carlos and Barb at Heleo Architecture + Design, we are now only a couple of weeks away from submitting our permits!


 

HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT 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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