Name: Iryssa Jackowitz
Where did you grow up: Wellington, Florida
Town you live in now: Palm Beach Gardens
Why you love living there:
Family lives close by and I love spending time together. It’s home!
Tell me about your kids:
I have two sweet little Love Knots. One almost four year old boy who is very loving, curious, enthusiastic, imaginative, musical, and a lover of designing buildings. His sister is the most caring, gentle, silly/goofy, super girly, art loving, musical, snuggly princess and just turned two years old. They are my world!
Favorite things to do with the kids locally:
**Before COVID: Tracie’s Music Together, Gardens Gymnastics, trips to Green’s Pharmacy and Luncheonette in Palm Beach (my Dad is one of the owners), exploring parks, museums, shops and restaurants from Boca to Jupiter!
**During COVID: Baking challah together, trips to the beach, swimming and going for strolls around town while exploring the outdoors! We took the kids on their first boat ride for Father’s Day- it was an awesome experience! We spend lots of time with Bubby and Zayde (my parents), too! I love watching my kids and their relationships and bonds grow!
What’s your ‘day job’? How did you get started with it?
Teaching was my passion before Sweet Loaf Challah was born and I absolutely loved my job! I taught fourth grade at Beacon Cove in Jupiter for seven years! After I had my daughter, I decided to stay home and take care of my own babies.
For the start of Sweet Loaf Challah, let’s go back to 2012 for a minute…
At my bridal shower, my mother in law gifted me my first bread machine along with her perfected challah recipe that my husband constantly talked about having while growing up. Coming from a family with similar Jewish values and traditions, I couldn’t wait to learn how to make this challah that he had talked about so much while we were dating! I started baking challah the Friday after my bridal shower and haven’t really stopped since…
When we moved in together, we used to have family and friends over every Shabbat where we’d celebrate with my homemade challah. Everyone who tasted it would rave about how delicious it was and what a great business it would be. I’d always smile knowing that my challah brought others bellies and hearts joy, and I loved entertaining and sharing my challah with everyone around us!
Let’s jump ahead to 2019…
When Callie turned eight months old, Sweet Loaf Challah was born! I was ready to share my love for baking challah (slightly different recipe than the original) with our community! Within a few hours of me sharing this idea, my husband (my number one supporter and fan) surprised me with a Facebook page and Instagram handle and said…”YOU CAN DO THIS! I BELIEVE IN YOU!” Sweet Loaf Challah has risen (literally) into something beyond my expectations, especially as things have started to heat up this year!
Various sizes, shapes, flavors, stuffings, toppings…for all different occasions and life events! It brings me such happiness to be a part of so many families’ lives!
What is your best parenting advice. Lay it on us.
Before COVID, we were always on the go. Running from one activity to another, keeping busy and being social. It was exhausting, but so much fun! But, I also felt like we were missing something. Since we have taken a step back to stay safe at home, the amount of laughter, snuggling, and relaxing has taught me that being a parent isn’t always about doing or participating in something. Being a parent is about enjoying the small moments that come just from spending quality time together. Listening and loving…Everyone says time flies…I can’t believe how true it really is. Spending these precious moments in time with my little Love Knots has been a blessing in ways that I would have never imagined.
What do you do for self care?
What is self-care? HA! I used to LOVE getting my nails done and doing Pure Barre…
Since having kids, there really is no “me time” or time to take care of myself. Putting everyone else’s needs ahead of mine is kind of how I roll… and challah has definitely contributed to my Mom bod ‘roll’.
Self-care during COVID…I love going for morning walks with my kids and pup around the neighborhood and escaping into my office (the kitchen) to bake for others…
Anything else you want to share?
To all the women who are contemplating whether their passions/dreams are worth leaping for… you can do anything you set your mind to! Believe in yourself!
*Sweet Loaf Challah would not be what it is today without the help of my incredible husband. Without him cheering me on every step of the way and entertaining our children while I’m working, the mass production of challah coming out of our home kitchen wouldn’t be possible. So lucky to have him as my husband, for my kids to have him as their Daddy, and for Sweet Loaf Challah to have him as its Dough Ops!