Isaac’s Fresh Local Corn Chowder is finally in season! A seasonal favorite since 2006, our popular corn chowder is made with locally-grown sweet corn. This year our corn will be harvested from Brook Lawn Farm Market, a family produce farm and roadside market located off Rt. 501 near Neffsville in the heart of Lancaster County. With over 100 acres in production, Brook Lawn Farm Market’s, sweet corn isn’t the only crop grown…they have strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, pumpkins…the list goes on.
The farm has been in the Erb family since 1938 and a roadside stand was started in 1954 which grew into a more permanent structure in 1960. Since then it has expanded into the market that’s there today. Brook Lawn Farm utilizes environmentally responsible production practices including reduced tillage and no-till operations, water-conserving drip irrigation systems and integrated pest management. The crops they grow are old standard varieties, including many heirlooms…and no GMO plants. Brook Lawn Farm Market is also a local employer. They have 32 seasonal employees (many are college and high school students) that work from April through the end of October with a core group that takes care of the farm year round.
I caught up with the current owner, James “Farmer Jim” Erb, last week for a tour of the farm and market. It was a great visit and I got to learn a great deal about the corn we’ll be getting for our chowder. Farmer Jim told me this year they have 25 – 30 acres of sweet corn which are composed of 10 different varieties starting with White-Out at the beginning of the season and ending with Argent. The corn is hand-picked…yes, that’s hand-picked…at 5:30 in the morning. Some is for the market, some for local organizations like churches and fire companies that use it in their soup sales…but a lot of it will end up at Isaac’s after it’s picked up by Kegel’s Produce to be husked, cleaned and cut off the cob!
As part of my tour, Farmer Jim demonstrated the right way to pick corn (extra bonus…I got to take the ears we picked home for dinner that night) and how the corn is so sweet you can taste it right there in the field! And the tour didn’t end with the corn fields…I got to go through the peach and plum orchards, too. Brook Lawn Farm Market has about 64 varieties of peaches…they’re one of the first in the area to have them and also one of the last. Another crop they grow a lot of is tomatoes…with 60 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. And don’t forget pumpkins and squash…over 100 varieties of those!
If you’re in the Lancaster area, be sure to stop by Brook Lawn Farm Market! They’re open Monday – Saturday. Visit their website at www.BrookLawnFarmMarket.com to learn more. And don’t miss out getting your share of Fresh Local Corn Chowder at your local Isaac’s while it’s in season!
For the upcoming 4th of July Weekend, Isaac’s will be showing our heartfelt gratitude to all active duty Military Personnel and Veterans by giving them a FREE Famous Grilled Sandwich! This offer will be valid July 4th thru 6th, when dining in-house at Isaac’s. It’s just our way of saying “Thank You!” to those who have helped preserve the freedom we’re celebrating with the 4th of July holiday.
No coupon will be necessary to receive this offer. Active Military Personnel and Veterans will simply need to show proof of service which can be one of the following: U.S. Uniformed Services ID Card, U.S. Uniformed Services Retired ID Card, current Leave and Earning Statement (LES), veteran’s organization card (i.e. American Legion, VFW), wearing a U.S. Military uniform, photograph of one’s self in a U.S. Military uniform, a DD214 and Citation or Commendation.
For more info visit our website or click HERE
National Nurses Week, celebrated May 6th – 12th, is being turned into Nurses Appreciation Week by Isaac’s to show our gratitude for a special group of people who take such good care of us when we’re sick! Nurses who come into Isaac’s and show their work i.d. during May 6th – 12th will get $3 Off their favorite sandwich or large green salad.
In addition to offering a great deal, Isaac’s is giving others the chance to thank nurses all across South Central PA with their “Thank A Nurse!” Facebook Contest from May 1st – 11th! It’s real easy…go on to Isaac’s Facebook Page and click on the Nurses Contest Button. Submit an entry to nominate a team of nurses you think deserve a treat from Isaac’s! Then get all your friends to vote for your nomination. The top 3 entries with the most votes will each win a 10-person Isaac’s Catering for the nurses nominated in the entry. How cool is that!
Winning entries will be announced on Monday, May 12th…which just happens to be Florence Nightingale’s Birthday! So help us spread the word about Nurses Appreciation Week at Isaac’s and enter the “Thank A Nurse!” Facebook Contest, too! Be sure to use #ThankANurse and #IsaacsLovesNurses when you post and Tweet!
Didjaknow that Administrative Professionals Week got it’s start back in 1952? Back then it was called National Secretaries Week. And it was actually celebrated in June…that got changed to the last full week in April starting in 1955. Then it went through 2 name changes…the 1st was Professional Secretaries Week in 1981 and finally in 2000 it was changed to Administrative Professionals Week.
With more than 4.1 million Administrative Assistants in the U.S., Administrative Professionals Week is celebrated all across the country and provides the opportunity for employers to show appreciation for all the hard work their administrative staffs do with flowers, candy and gift cards. But I think the luckiest Administrative Professionals are those who get treated to Isaac’s!
If you’re an employer reading this, then you’re going to want to click HERE to check out the deals on our website for Administrative Professionals Week, including a BOGOF with Beverage Purchase valid for Monday & Tuesday (4/21 & 4/22) and a catering coupon valid all week long.
If you’re an administrative professional reading this, print out the coupons on our website and slide them in with paperwork on your boss’s desk…a little hint never hurts! You deserve a perfect Administrative Professionals Week…kick it off with Isaac’s!
Isaac’s “Get Soup! Give Soup!” campaign wrapped up last month and we are happy to announce that were able to donate 975 gallons of our wonderful made-from-scratch soup to people in need all across South Central Pennsylvania…and it was all because of YOU!
For every 100 cups of soup customers purchased during January and February, we donated a gallon soup to local soup kitchens and shelters. With all the snow and cold temperatures we had during those months, those 975 gallons of soup were greatly appreciated!
And the giving isn’t over yet…many of our locations connected with new organizations that our employees want to volunteer with. For every hour an Isaac’s employee volunteers, $3 is donated to the organization they were volunteering for! We also have Community Night Fundraisers scheduled for some of the organizations we helped, too! How cool is that!?
Stay tuned for even more wonderful news about our volunteering and fundraising efforts and again, thank you for helping us help those in need!
We’re half-way through our “Get Soup! Give Soup!” campaign and so far Isaac’s has donated 537 gallons of soup to those in need all over South Central Pennsylvania. For every 100 cups of soup we sell during January and February, we’ll donate one gallon of soup to a local soup kitchen or shelter.
Keep track of how much soup we’re donating by visiting our “Get Soup! Give Soup!” section on our website! And be sure to buy soup and help us help those in need!
Due to the icy weather, some Isaac’s locations will be opening at Noon today, February 5th. We do have many locations opening at their regular scheduled time of 10am. They are: Rossmoyne Business Center in Mechanicsburg and Greenfield, Granite Run, Centerville and Downtown in the Lancaster area. Strasburg in Lancaster County is also opening at it’s regular time of 10am.
Lititz and Hershey Isaac’s will both be opening at 10:45am and our Paxton Street, East York and Ephrata locations will be opening at 11am. Wyomissing Isaac’s will be opening at 11:45am.
Silver Spring Isaac’s in Mechanicsburg will be open for Takeout at 11am and then their dining room will be open at Noon.
All other Isaac’s locations will open at Noon.
Check out our Facebook Page for postings on openings and other fun info. And for a listing of all our locations click HERE.
The Twisted Chicken
For over a year now it seems that every time I turn on the TV, I see a new ad for some restaurant promoting their “NEW PRETZEL SANDWICH”…like it’s some kind of exciting discovery or something. And while I may be a little non-plus over all the hoopla it’s only because Isaac’s has had pretzel sandwiches since the 90′s! About 2 years ago I did some sleuthing and wrote a blog post about the history of Isaac’s Pretzel Sandwiches. Here’s what I discovered…
My big sleuthing adventure began by digging through the Old Menu Archives (which could be a blog post all it’s own…or an Indiana Jones movie). I found a menu from 1994 that did not have any pretzel sandwiches and then one from 1996 where they appeared company-wide. My investigation got another break when my boss, Phil Wenger, and our menu queen, Jen Shivery, told me to talk with Doug Kaufmann, a former Isaac’s General Manager from our East York location at Meadowbrook Village.
Doug (L) & Phil (R) back in the day!
According to Doug, one day in 1994 Pat the Bread Guy (who used to deliver bread to Isaac’s, other vendors and to Central Market) had a left-over box of the famous big Philly-style soft pretzels that he gave to him rather than throwing them out! So Doug got some ham, Swiss cheese and mustard and made the first Pretzel Sandwiches at Isaac’s and fed his employees! They raved so much about the twisted concoction that he started ordering more of the pretzels and running them as specials. The idea spread like wildfire through the company, which had around 12 locations by that time (1995) and everyone wanted to get twisted!
Some of Smittie’s treats!
But there were some problems with the pretzels from Philadelphia…they didn’t have a great shelf life and they burned easily in our grills. After a brief search we discovered Smittie’s Soft Pretzels, in York County no less, who had been making pretzels since 1934. Even better, they had already developed a pretzel roll that they sold at their store and highway stands in York County. Their rolls, made with a distinct stone hearth baked recipe, created the perfect combination for some of Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches.
After a few modifications and a brief trial period, Isaac’s Pretzel Sandwiches became a part of the flock officially in 1996 but others would argue with me that 1995 should be the year since we were running them as specials at all our locations. Either way, the most important thing is that even after all this time, Isaac’s Pretzel Sandwiches continue to be a hit with every generation! So what are you doing still reading this? Go to your favorite Isaac’s and get one now!
My most favorite pretzel sandwich of all!!
And that’s the latest scoop from JohnnyKat Roberts, Isaac’s Marketing Coordinator!
When you’re out and about looking for deals this Black Friday Weekend, make sure one of your stops is at your favorite Isaac’s location Friday 10am – Noon, Saturday 10am – Noon and Sunday 11am – 1pm! Print out our Black Friday Weekend Doorbusters Flyer on our website to get each day’s coupon.
Friday’s deal (from 10am – Noon, with coupon) will be a Free pack of Snow Traxx or Flamingo Traxx candies with purchase of $25 or more (not including gift card or alcohol purchases).
Saturday’s deal (from 10am – Noon, with coupon) will be a your choice of getting a Filbert for only $5 or a bag of one of our wonderful coffee blends for only $4 with purchase of $25 or more (again, not including gift card or alcohol purchases).
Sunday’s deal (from 11am – 1pm) is awesome…each person dining with us will get a FREE Sandwich Card valid Dec. 2nd – 15th, 2013.
Supplies are limited and when we’re out, we’re out…make sure you get there early each day to get the deal! For a list of all our Isaac’s locations check our website.
Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches recently received the “Circle of Honor” distinction from United Way of Lancaster County for our stellar annual Employee Campaign for the 2013 calendar year. This award applauds organizations that truly support the mission of United Way. Inclusion in the “Circle of Honor” recognizes Isaac’s quality workplace campaign, employee support of and participation in United Way activities, and other non-monetary contributions in addition to financial contributions.
Isaac’s 2012 Workplace Campaign for the 2013 calendar year boasted a 99.6% employee participation rate (with only two employees declining participation!) which is a 2.62% increase from the previous year, and a $54,541 contribution. Isaac’s annual campaign is run by its CRAVE task force (Community Relations and Volunteering Employees) whose mission is to connect employees to their local community in a meaningful way.
On a fun side note, Isaac’s sponsored a United Way billboard announcing to the community that we choose to “Live United” by supporting the mission of United Way.