HISTORIC JEFFERSON PARK
ALL THEIR NAMES START WITH "G"
The Izumi family-Grace & George (Mom & Dad), and their children Grayson, Glenda, Garret, and Genelle. They also had a bird named Gabby, three cats Gussie, Gigi & Ginny, a dog named Gibo, and the fish in the tank...Guppies.
I want to thank Eric Nakamura (Giant Robot) for introducing me to his friend Garret Izumi. Thank you Garret I really enjoyed our conversations, it was great a time sharing about the family’s business Grace Pastries. Grace Pastries….Ahh I get the warm fuzzies just thinking about how my Mom took me to Grace Pastries...just because. My absolute favorite...cream puffs Omgosh!
Grace Kato was born and raised in Fowler California, her Father was a foreman for a large farm operation owned by the Feaver family. The Feaver family stored the Kato family’s possessions when they were forcibly removed to the Fresno Assembly Center, then to Jerome and then to Rowher. When the family was finally released, the Feaver’s welcomed them with open arms, and their possessions safely intact. Grace’s Dad worked for the Feaver’s for a season of time, and was able to operate his/their own grape ranch.
George Izumi was born in Hollywood, grew up in Santa Monica and the Sawtelle area working on the family farm growing vegetables and flowers. The family was incarcerated at Manzanar, where George worked in the mess hall. The Army sent him to baking school, and ignited his passion to bake. It was special to learn from Garret that his Dad knew people from the Indio Desert Floral through Westgate Florist on Santa Monica Blvd near Uni High, and that his Dad’s family grew flowers in Malibu and sold them at the Flower Mkt in LA pre-war…Lots of Sweet Peas. George and his Father drove their Model A from Hwy 1 to Sunset to Wilshire to downtown.
Moving the clock forward
Grace made her way to Los Angeles, and took care of the children of a Hollywood producer. George continued his education in the art of baking, working at various bakeries and a florist. It is when George delivered flowers to the home of the Hollywood producer that Grace worked for, when George and Grace’s first saw each other...and the rest is a beautiful love story.
The honesty and kindness of the Feaver family gave Grace’s parents the push needed to reestablish themselves, Grace’s parents were able to loan Grace and George to open the Grace Pastry Shoppe in 1950, on W. Jefferson Blvd. near Crenshaw. Monday March 13, 1950 was the day they opened the doors and grew and grew. Grace Pastries had 14 outlets, and became a huge icon in Southern California, but especially to the Japanese Americans who til this day talks about the delicious aroma as you enter the bakery, wedding cakes, birthday cakes, dobash torte, tea cakes....the list goes on and on of great memories etched in our hearts. Celebrities also cherished Grace Pastries, just one example ...George Izumi made the wedding cake for Princess Leia of Alderaan and daughter to Darth Vader...Carrie Fisher.
Mr. & Mrs. Izumi you had a beautiful marriage of 65 years until Grace’s promotion to glory, and in 2020 there was a blessed reunion as George left us to be with Grace. George and Grace Izumi your business flourished just shy of four decades, a big arigato for the fond memories that will forever be in our hearts.
Grace Izumi’s favorite song was “Que Sera, Sera” Whatever Will Be, Will Be. The “Be” in your life and family is a precious story.
To Remember is to Honor
Forever on this Page