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❤️

 

Grandma Izola, for which our bakeshop is named, instilled in my mom Twila, and mom to me, the importance of making the time to celebrate life's milestones. No matter how busy we get, we can never be too busy for our families and for our community.

 

So when one of our most favorite customers reached out to let us know that her son and IZOLA super-fan Dane was turning 5 years old, we knew we wanted to help celebrate.

 

Even though it was Dane's birthday, we were the ones to receive the real gift - the gift of community, love and support; the boundless sunshine that kids bring into any space they enter...WOW, exactly what we all needed.




Throwing this surprise for Dane was a real team effort - Dane's family kept the birthday plans a secret until morning and helped make the morning festive with bday hats, and the IZOLA Core team went above and beyond to create a special morning. Thank you to Chef Joseph who made a custom stencil for Dane's Wild Sourdough, Chef Lane and Chef Lidia for creating a gigantic croissant pizza for the party, and Jeff and Erick for the very extra special kids sized IZOLA tee (we hear through the grapevine that Dane insisted on sleeping in it ❤️).

 

Happy birthday to my friend Dane! Thanks for bringing light into this world!

 

Love,

Your friend Jeff.


 

CELEBRATE AT IZOLA

 

Now that we've made the decision to relocate IZOLA to a new location, our current space on 13th Street is now fully 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...

 

Fun fact - this space used to be my production and photo studio for over 20 years.

 

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.


 


WHAT WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT NOW

 

In the test kitchen, we have so many new flavors that are making us so excited for summertime...like our Bananas Foster croissant with loads of caramelized bananas and served hot with a core of vanilla ice cream running right down the middle. Mmmm....summer can't come soon enough!


 

THANK YOU FOR THE LEADS

 

Thank you to each and every one who sent us leads on spaces that could possibly be the next home for IZOLA. Keep them coming! Even if you're not sure if it's the perfect fit for us, we're taking a look at each and every lead that comes through. Thank you for keeping your eyes peeled and for spreading the word to your friends and family about our search, we have been so humbled by the outpouring of support.

 

We miss you all and can't wait to be back open as quickly as possible!

 

Remember - if we land in a spot that came from you, we'll gift ya with a 6-pack of croissants a week for an entire year!


 

JENNY WINS!



I know you've been waiting on pins and needles wanting to hear the results of our Anchovy Sourdough poll...Jenny and the no anchovy contingent won with the smallest of margins. J/K - the "no anchovy lobby" is quite strong! 🤣 But my bet is that it will still show up on the menu one of these days....🙄





 



A HOUSE DIVIDED


There is some tension in the Brown-Chen household these days...the cause? Tiny, boney, salty, squishy, squirmy, smelly anchovies. They just don't belong in sourdough.



(record scratch sound effect) Alright, alright - that was Jenny above, doing an unauthorized takeover of the newsletter. Jeffrey here, the more level-headed, rational half of this partnership (😇). What am I excited about these days? Well, LOTS! But especially our newest Anchovy Sourdough, where we have whole anchovies adding a briney depth to our sourdough, paired with roasted heirloom garlic cloves and zesty radish. Chef Lane also made a delish anchovy butter...YUM!

 

What do you think? Excited about Anchovy Sourdough? Head on over to our Instagram Stories and VOTE in our anchovy poll!

 

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid. (Almost Famous, 2000)



 

REOPENING UPDATES

 

As many of you know, we're currently closed for kitchen renovations needed for a new health permit. Over the past several months, we've hit many challenges along the way, which is an expected part of renovating a 100-year-old building...and we've worked through them. Until now......During the 2nd review of the 13th St. plans, additional requirements were placed on the renovation, such as the requirement to increase the structural capacity of the dining room up to 2024 standards in order to obtain our kitchen renovation permit..... to 140,000 lbs. Argh....that was a sucker punch. And it's just not economically feasible. With a heavy heart Jenny and I have decided that IZOLA must move. Heartbreaking! We raised our son at 13th St. We started IZOLA at 13th St. And we met all of you at 13th St. So many great memories.

 

Where will we move you ask? We have an open mind! We are already in discussions regarding three potential new locations. And they have the following characteristics in common:

 

  1. Valid health permit in place. (any of the 3 work for us)

  2. restaurant kitchen space or:

  3. industrial food manufacturing space or:

  4. space that would hold both our production and bakeshop.

  5. Available now.

  6. Minimum 400a 208/120 3ph power available.

  7. Lease Length: We're flexible!

 

If you know of an available space that would be a great spot for an IZOLA, we'd love to hear about it. A year of free croissants (52 x 6 packs) if you connect us to our new home.

 


 

EQUITY CLOSE

 

Our equity raise is now closed. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the IZOLA community....just WOW. We can now call over 500 of you owners in IZOLA!

 

We have raised $1.6M to help propel our mission of

GROWTH.

JOBS.

JUSTICE.

Amazing...and it's not enough. Building IZOLA Main, a zero-emission dough factory and bakeshop in an underinvested, urban San Diego community, is a $7.5 million dollar project.

 

Why are we doing it? We can't achieve our company vision or justice-based goals by baking the same way it's always been done.

 

Investing in efficiencies like automation and purpose-built production facilities at IZOLA Main will increase the quality of our croissants and sourdough. We're also improving the guest experience like providing a parking lot to make it easier for you to pop by for a hot-from-the-oven pastry. IZOLA Main will create opportunities in the community with high-quality jobs (training included!) and build a safe community space that improves social health. IZOLA Main will increase the value created per hour worked to pay our team members higher wages and maximize the return of our investors.

 

Missed our last investment round? Don't worry! We're working on opening a new equity round later this spring. Stay tuned! We'll announce it in our newsletter first!


 



THIS IS IT!

 

Jenny and I didn't set out to change an industry, we just wanted a hot loaf of tasty bread and community. When it comes to baked goods, if you are lucky, you have a local artisan baker in town, but most people are picking up bread at the grocery store.

 

IZOLA is more than about our single location. We are on a mission to change the way America thinks about Croissants and Sourdough Bread, all served with genuine hospitality.

 

How? We are taking existing automation equipment and applying our handmade methods to create artisanal products at scale.

 

We've already been fired by a handful of manufacturing companies who say it's not possible to increase our quality while using their equipment. So we partnered with two manufacturers who believed, and successfully replicated our handmade croissants and sourdough with their equipment, simply by using their equipment in unconventional ways.

 

Not only will automating allow us to finally meet our natural demand (instead of constantly selling out because we just can't make it fast enough), but we'll be able to pay our team more by increasing their hourly output.

 

Change is an expensive endeavor. We have already raised almost $1.5M from over 500 investors, but designing and building a zero-emission automated factory in an underserved community is a complicated, capital-intensive, challenging project. We will be ready to begin construction in about 6 months with a total project budget of $7.5M. We’ve raised about 65% of the capital through a mix of debt and equity investment from our customers.

 

We are on the home stretch for this round - our equity raise ends this Thursday, February 29th. Will you join us today on this journey and become an IZOLA owner?


If you have questions, would like to hear more about our 5 year growth plan, and more, join us on Google Meet for our final investor call - Wednesday February 28th at 7p PST. We welcome any and all conversations and questions.

 

And don't forget - investors will receive special access to our grand re-opening! Come join us for an exclusive and private event before we officially open to the public.


Can't make the call? You can see a past recording of an IZOLA Future Conversation below. (Nerd alert....me!)




Want to learn more about why Jenny and I launched IZOLA and why we named the bakeshop IZOLA? Find out below!



*Please only invest an amount you would feel comfortable losing. Investing in private businesses involves risk. Though potential returns are designed to reflect that risk, there is a possibility that you will lose your entire investment.


 

REOPENING UPDATES

 

We so VERY much wanted to be able to provide you with more concrete reopening updates before the close of our equity raise, but unfortunately, it's not in the cards for us today.

 

I've been working day and night with our team on some big updates about our renovation, but much of it has become a waiting game as we await word from various stakeholders. You can blame Jenny for holding me back from announcing anything until our i's are dotted and our t's are crossed! 🤣

 

So, THANK YOU for hanging in there with us...I do think it will be worth the wait! Stay tuned...


 

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