ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – An Albuquerque family is up to something special in Nob Hill. They want to bring the Farmers Market favorites to a popular area in the area, but they need help to get there.
The owners of Ihatov specialized in artisan bread. They launched a Kickstarter campaign to help make their dream come true. Kickstarter is different from a GoFundMe campaign because investors can see where their money will go and are offered incentives for different levels of donation.
From New York to Santa Fe, and now to Albuquerque, baking has been a big part of the lives of Nobutoshi Mizushima and Yuko Kawashiwo. They are the new owners of Ihatov.
âWe love bread, but also bread has a story. People started baking about 4,000 years ago, âMizushima said. “We have been selling our bread in farmers’ markets since 2016.”
Mizushima spent years training at Cloud Cliff Bakery in Santa Fe and eventually ran it for three years. During his time there, he developed a unique style inspired by a fusion of European and Japanese techniques. After taking his creations to farmers’ markets and seeing that they were a hit with locals, the idea of ââopening their own store began to take shape.
âA lot of customers ask us, ‘Where is the location? Where is the bakery ?’ Mizushima said. âWe started to think about opening our bakery. It’s a good idea for us.
They searched for the perfect place for over a year. Finally, they opted for a former Starbucks reserve along Central and Tulane in Nob Hill. They settled on the name, Ihatov.
âIhatov is not English,â Mizushima said. “But also, it’s not Japanese either.”
The name is inspired by Mizushima’s favorite author Kenji Miyazawa, who coined the word, meaning “land of dreams” or “shrine.” They decided to start a Kickstarter to make this dreamland come true. They are giving themselves 45 days to raise the extra money – $ 12,000 to be exact – and get people’s attention.
âWe can say what we do, who we are,â Kawashimo said. “That’s why we chose the Kickstarter.”
Through stories, photos and video, the campaign gives strangers a glimpse of this family and their dream. They also hope the Kickstarter reminds people to support small businesses.
âWe think this is a good time to educate people and tell our story,â Kawashimo said. “I think if people start thinking about us, I think it’s going to be good vibes.”
Anyone supporting their Kickstarter can donate. From $ 20 or more, there are also incentives for âpledgesâ. For example, $ 20 or more gets you store credit for a bread and coffee, as well as a magnet, while a $ 2,000 pledge entitles you to merchandise like a bread bag, mug, 20 store credits for bread, plus two days of learning how to bake Mizushima bread.
Although Nob Hill is an expensive area to do business, the owners say many of their farmers’ market patrons have suggested it. They also saw “Nob” Hill as a good sign, since the owner’s name is “Nobu”. Ihatov is expected to open in mid-February.