ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque family is baking up something special in Nob Hill. They want to bring farmers market favorites to a popular spot in the area, but they need help pulling it off.
The owners of Ihatov specialize in artisan bread. They launched a Kickstarter campaign to help make their dream a reality. Kickstarter is different from a GoFundMe campaign because investors can see where their money will go to and are offered incentives for different donation levels.
From New York to Santa Fe, and now, Albuquerque, baking has been a big part of the lives of Nobutoshi Mizushima and Yuko Kawashiwo. They are the new owners of Ihatov.
“We love bread, but also, bread has a history. People started baking bread about 4,000 years ago,” said Mizushima. “We’ve been selling our bread at the farmers’ markets since 2016.”
Mizushima spent years training at Santa Fe’s Cloud Cliff Bakery 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 finding they were a hit with locals, the idea of opening their own shop started to rise.
“A lot of customers ask us, ‘Where’s the location? Where’s the bakery?'” said Mizushima. “We started thinking to open our bakery. It’s a good idea for us.”
They searched for over a year for the perfect place. Finally, they decided on a former Starbucks Reserve along Central and Tulane in Nob Hill. They settled on the name, Ihatov.
“Ihatov is not English,” said Mizushima. “But also, it’s not Japanese, as well.”
The name is inspired by Mizushima’s favorite author, Kenji Miyazawa, who created the word, meaning “dreamland” or “sanctuary.” They decided to start a Kickstarter to make that dreamland a reality. They’re giving themselves 45 days to raise some extra dough — $12,000 to be exact — and catch people’s attention.
“We can tell what we do, who we are,” said Kawashimo. “That’s why we chose the Kickstarter.”
Through stories, photos, and a video, the campaign gives outsiders a look into this family and their dream. They also hope the Kickstarter reminds people to support small businesses.
“We think this is a good period to inform the people and tell our story,” said Kawashimo. “I think if people start thinking about us, I think it’s going to be good vibes.”
Anyone supporting their Kickstarter can make a donation. Starting at $20 or more, there are also incentives for “pledges.” For example, $20 or more gives you a store credit for one bread and one coffee, as well as a magnet, while a pledge of $2,000 gets you merchandise like a bread bag, mug, 20 store credits for bread, as well as two days of learning to bake bread from Mizushima.
Although Nob Hill is an expensive area to do business, owners say a lot of their farmers’ market customers 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.