Staff Profile: Isabelle Luzuriaga

To mark Employee Appreciation Day on March 3, Isabelle Luzuriaga, Jackson Square Member Concierge and one of the newest members of the CANOPY team, shares her insights on sustainability in work, the power of connection, and the many ways in which she loves to bring people together.

You joined CANOPY in October 2022. Where were you working prior?

I was an associate at Northwestern Mutual, and at the same time I was also working part time at a fermentation shop making things like kombucha, kimchi, and miso. I like to ferment and preserve anything I can! I enjoyed what I was doing at both places but my background is working in the culinary and hospitality sector, and I was looking to find a role in the world of hospitality, which I love. My job at CANOPY enables me to follow my passion.

Sounds like CANOPY is the perfect fit! Tell us about your day to day, and what you enjoy most about your job

My day to day, from the beginning of my shift until I leave, is all about engaging with and serving our members. What I like the most about working at CANOPY is how, even during the hiring process, our company culture emphasizes the importance of hospitality. I love delivering mail to various members’ offices and being able to spend a few moments chatting with them. The CANOPY staff gets to connect with our amazing members and we know everyone by name—it really feels like a community. The heart of my job is to continue to build and support that community. 

What does your responsibility as a concierge entail?

Requests from members can be pretty broad—they might come to the front desk to ask for the Wifi password or phone charger or recommendations on where to go for lunch nearby—but a core focus for me, personally, is promoting community events. CANOPY events are one the best ways to network, as our members are moving the needle in a wide range of industries, including tech, health, finance and real estate, among others. Everyone here wants to connect and build, and it’s the job of the CANOPY concierge team to make those introductions and support members as they collaborate. It’s incredibly satisfying.

Do you have any favorite amenities at CANOPY Jackson Square?

Aside from the essentials, one of my top little luxuries is the Aesop hand balm. CANOPY is meticulous about sourcing premium sustainable products, from our bulk snacks in the kitchen to our bathroom amenities. I love our Aesop products because they offer an elevated touch of self-care that I can enjoy at any point during my day.

You’ve worked in a few different fields—it’s hard to imagine two more different trades than insurance and fermentation! Has your experience engaging with members and learning about their work influenced your professional outlook or plans for your own career? 

Definitely! It’s easy to be inspired by our members’ stories. Both personally and professionally, I would like to find a sense of accomplishment and happiness from tackling challenges without feeling constantly overwhelmed or worn out. I think that speaks to the sustainability of work and how I’ve learned to maintain that balance. Even within the CANOPY staff team, it’s been inspiring to see internal growth, and I want to continue to work in this kind of environment.

If you could choose anybody as a mentor, who would you love to spend time with and learn from?

If I were to have that option, it would be Anthony Bourdain. As you now know, I’m passionate about food and hospitality, and about how they intersect with travel. Anthony Bourdain was great at being at the center of those elements and was a great storyteller. I followed a lot of his documentary work and his approach to food and cooking, and he always demonstrated an ability to dig deeper. 

In Parts Unknown, he doesn’t just expose food and travel in a country or destination, but beautifully highlights the arts, music, and significant political and cultural issues that were shaping how people lived—both the good and the bad. When seeking somebody to learn from, I look for someone who doesn’t just focus on the positives, but also the negatives and everything in between. That’s how we learn. 

What advice would you give to somebody who’s thinking of changing careers or moving into a hospitality role, perhaps somewhere like CANOPY? 

You need to be passionate about how you spend your work hours. Being a CANOPY Member Concierge is not just about helping people get to where they’re going and smiling and saying good morning—it’s caring deeply about making our members’ days more enjoyable, and supporting them however we can. 

What was the most important thing you learned in your first month at CANOPY?

We all follow CANOPY’s business model and company policies, but there’s also room to be flexible and to be yourself as we strive to do our jobs well. I believe this is a space where there’s professional growth, and I can see and learn from the skill of my team members. 

What’s been your biggest learning experience to date?

I’ve had to make peace with the fact that you cannot please everybody, all the time, when working in hospitality. Even if you’ve done a great job, circumstances can be beyond your control; when people react unpredictably or become upset if something unfortunate happens, it’s very important to always keep your cool. Before I become emotional or take things personally, I remind myself the one thing that’s within my control, no matter the situation, is how I react. That also helps to ensure that I don’t bring negativity home if I had a bad day. Luckily, that doesn’t happen very often!

Do you have any favorite podcasts or shows that you listen to on your walks to and from work?

I love The Moth, and when there’s a live event in the Bay Area, I always try to go—last November I went to a GrandSLAM in SF with some friends and Brian, our barista!

What is a destination you love visiting or never get tired of traveling to?

The Philippines, because that’s where I’m originally from. My family lives in different regions so when I go home, I get to visit different islands, eat different foods, and even speak different dialects! I also would like to visit Puerto Rico, hopefully this year, as my partner is from there and I’d love to see where he grew up.

What’s a skill everyone should master?

Bourdain once said, “Basic cooking skills are a virtue.” I think it’s essential to learn how to cook, not just because it’s important to be able to feed yourself, but it’s also a good way to get people together, socialize, and entertain. 

What’s an album that you’d recommend to anybody?

Amy Winehouse, Back to Black, always. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bay Area?

I love to hike and camp. One of the great things about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is you can be in the city and within an hour, you can be out in nature and hike a trail. It’s an incredible benefit of living here. You get the best of both worlds.

As a relatively new member of the CANOPY team, is there anything you’d like members and visitors to know about you? 

I don’t drink coffee and tea is life. I don’t need strong caffeine. At least not yet—maybe in a couple years! Oh, I’m also an avid fermenter so hit me up if you’re into fermentation. Lately, I’ve been into modern miso but classic kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha still excite me. I also love to share and swap starter cultures, resources, and finished products!