Owners of Izzy’s Coffee buy Waking Life business in West Asheville


Here’s the announcement. As y’all know, this follows the Waking Life controversy. There’s no word yet from Waking Life owners Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens about what’s next for them. They were seen loading up a truck with stuff from inside the business this afternoon.

Press release:

Izzy’s Coffee Announces Opening of Second Location in West Asheville

Kristin and Ross Britton, owners of Izzy’s Coffee Den on North Lexington in downtown Asheville, are pleased to announce the coming of a sister coffee shop at 976 Haywood Road in West Asheville.

The owners of Izzy’s, an Asheville coffee institution for over a decade, have been looking to expand to West Asheville.

“We’re excited to be a part of the West Asheville community,” said Kristin, “we’ve been looking for a second location for a while. We can’t wait to make new friends and offer the west side a great new place to relax and enjoy.”

As of October 5th, Izzy’s has completed the purchase of equipment and assumed the current lease at 976 Haywood, the former location of Waking Life. The sister shop expects to be closed for six to eight weeks for renovations.

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work on giving the space a warmer feel. We’re going to take our time, give it a fresh coat of paint…as Kristen said, we want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable,” Ross said.

Expect more information about Izzy’s new location later this month.



Jill November 15, 2015 - 3:54 pm

Yes. Mountain Air Roasting coffee is amazing coffee! It would be great if Izzy’s would serve it!

Harry October 27, 2015 - 11:38 am

I wonder what will become of the money raised in the Battlecakes crowd funding campaign?

Tree Dweller October 9, 2015 - 7:32 pm

Interesting, considering that there was an Izzy’s in W. Asheville, which became Battle Cat. The downtown location is a similar clientele as Battle Cat’s, so one wonders if they’ll siphon off its clients. West Asheville is kind of over saturated with coffee joints already, with Odd’s and Firestorm the two most recent additions. It’s surprising that Izzy’s would want to enter that market. Beyond that, Izzy’s is mainly staffed by guys, albeit gay or non-alpha types. There used to be more women, not sure what happened. I like the music, the art and the grungy aesthetic, it’s certainly a departure from Waking Life’s Ikea style. The question is, will those that frequented Waking Life hang at Izzy’s? Me thinks not.

luther blissett October 13, 2015 - 2:29 pm

“Interesting, considering that there was an Izzy’s in W. Asheville, which became Battle Cat.”

Amber Arthur sold the downtown Izzy’s to the Brittons in 2011 and kept the WAvl location, changing the name to BattleCat. So while the “coffee institution for over a decade” line is true, the current owners of Izzy’s have only been in charge for four of those years.

Big Al October 15, 2015 - 3:23 am

“Izzy’s is mainly staffed by guys, albeit gay or non-alpha types. There used to be more women, not sure what happened.”

Sounds like nothing really changed.

Barry Summers October 6, 2015 - 11:17 am

But where will the He-Man Woman Haters Club meet from now on?

bit.ly/1niolL4 (drag & drop)

Fallin October 6, 2015 - 9:53 am

While I am very happy that Waking Life is gone, Haywood Rd already has many other coffee shops to support. We need a community space! However, it was nice to see Izzy’s do this without asking for money from the public.
Also, this story should have gone to Asheville Blog. The woman who runs that site has been on the front lines of protest and communication every single day since this started.

Harry October 6, 2015 - 8:30 am

Way to go Izzy’s. No hoopla, blog posts, or Go Fund Me crapola. They just took care of business. Can’t wait to visit the new location.

Jen October 6, 2015 - 4:34 pm

Under the radar with a plan.

chris October 6, 2015 - 10:41 pm


Harry October 7, 2015 - 8:32 am

Maybe you could find employment at the new location Chris. It would help get you out of your mom’s basement.

chris October 7, 2015 - 10:00 am

It would help me get out of _your_ mom’s basement! ZING!

Barry Summers October 7, 2015 - 11:04 am


Harry October 7, 2015 - 12:50 pm

Ha! Good one. You wouldn’t have liked living in my mom’s basement. She would have forced you to be productive and make something of yourself.

chris October 7, 2015 - 1:42 pm


J October 5, 2015 - 11:51 pm

Izzy’s isn’t serving counter culture anymore. I was in there a few days ago and they had stumptown and said they had started carrying beans from different roasters.

John October 5, 2015 - 11:01 pm

I just hope that Izzy’s will consider brewing beans from Asheville’s own Mountain Air Roasting. Seems that Waking Life was one of the only cafes in town (if you know of others, do tell) that served Mountain Air coffees and it is amazing quality. Counter Culture (served at Izzys downtown) is good but falls short of Mountain Air Roasting.

Stephen October 6, 2015 - 11:34 am

I share this concern, some of the best coffee I’ve ever had was roasted by Mountain Air

Headhunter October 6, 2015 - 5:35 pm

Go see Eric out at Allgood Coffee in Weaverville. The guy is a caffeine wizard and he serves Mountain Air products

montfordresident October 7, 2015 - 8:23 am

Tod’s Tasties, Over-Easy, Malaprops, Cucina24, table & The Imperial Life

Liz October 5, 2015 - 6:08 pm

YUCK! Izzy’s coffee is horrible, the place is dirty, the employees are rude and stuck up. Boooooooooo.

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