Izzy’s Ice Cream headquarters and commercial kitchen in the Mill District of Minneapolis has been listed for sale for $2.5 million a few weeks after the frozen-dessert company decided to permanently close its original St. Paul shop. But Izzy’s co-owner said Wednesday he was not selling the business and plans to grow distribution.
Izzy’s 5,137-square-foot building sits across the street from Gold Medal Park on 2nd Street near the Mississippi River. The building has an ice cream shop along with a production kitchen.
The modern building, completed in 2013, was designed by Minnesota architect David Salmela. Izzy’s owners decided to build the space as its production needs outgrew its original St. Paul location.
However, because restaurants and other retailers were required to close to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Izzy’s estimates it will see upward of $1 million in lost business this summer, said co-founder Jeff Sommers.
“We built our dream home here and our dream location in St. Paul, and we can’t afford them,” Sommers said. “It’s sad. It’s very sad.”
The summer months account for 80% of Izzy’s annual sales, he said. On a busy day, Izzy’s could see 1,000 to 1,200 customers with 10 people working to scoop ice cream. But with social distancing standards, even if the ice cream shop was open, it couldn’t handle that many workers or customers without risking public safety, Sommers said.
“Opening or no opening, it decreases the capacity of the operation. … You have less revenue,” Sommers said.
In late April, Sommers and his wife, Lara Hammel, announced they would shut down their St. Paul ice cream shop at 2034 Marshall Av., which originally opened in 2000, because of the drop in revenue. Izzy’s still has an active lease for the commercial kitchen next door where it could possibly continue to make ice cream after the potential sale of its Minneapolis facility, Sommers said. The company also still has a co-manufacturing partnership with Madison, Wis.-based food manufacturer the Chocolate Shoppe.
In the next few weeks, Izzy’s will begin to ship its ice cream online nationally, Sommers said. The company also has another project in the works that Sommers couldn’t detail yet.
Both shops have been closed since mid March, though the Minneapolis location reopened in May for pickup and delivery service.
The building is being listed by Eric Batiza and Ted Gonsior of Colliers International.
“We kind of see it as a sign of strength that we are willing to make all the sacrifices … to save our business,” Sommer said.