The owners of Izola’s are expanding their diner, as well as the distribution of their homemade tartar sauce. Wilton and Pauline Foster are well-known throughout the county for offering home-cooked Southern staples at their eatery, Izola’s Country Café in Hinesville.
The couple, married for more than 60 years, own and operate the diner along with their daughter Lori and son-in-law Glenn Poole.
Foster said his mother, Izola, was always in the kitchen. He said he enjoys serving the community the food his mother taught him to cook.
But Foster said his tartar sauce was a recipe he created. After many rave reviews by customers he is now bottling the product and working with food distributors to get it into as many markets as he can.
“I’m excited about it,” Foster said ,holding up a bottle of Izola’s Tartar Sauce. The bottle features his mother’s photo, much like at the diner where her picture is above the buffet line.
Pauline Foster said folks can find Izola’s tartar sauce at the Midway IGA and at the Walthourville Meat Market. She said they are working with Sysco and US Foods so they can distribute the product across the state.
“We take our own tartar sauce when we dine out,” she said with a laugh. She said the planning and bottling process has taken some time, but they are ready for full production.
“We are hoping and praying that it works…it just takes time,” she said.
The couple have been in the food business for years. Before owning Izola’s they owned the Western Sizzlin’ in Hinesville.
Wilton Foster said they decided to sell the Western Sizzlin’ after their son Dana Foster died as a result of an accident at his home.
He said his son helped run the restaurant, but after his death he became distraught and sold it.
“It was the worst day in our lives,” Pauline foster said, about her son’s death.
But the restaurant business is in the Fosters’ blood. The family has been running eateries in the community since 1913. And since the opening of Izola’s, Foster said he keeps coming up with ideas to better serve the community and share the food he enjoys.
He said he would love to see his tartar sauce sold across the US and maybe even extend the business to include bottling his Brunswick stew.
Foster smiled at the thought and added it would be great if the tartar sauce did well enough where he could open a distribution facility in the area.
Until then, Foster said they are working to expand Izola’s to include a breakfast buffet room which could also be used for private events. The couple has already leased out the space next to their diner. Construction is expected to be finished soon, giving employees a bigger kitchen area, more storage and more opportunities for better customer service.
The dining room area was modified so customers will have the option of placing online orders and picking it up at a new take out area.