OAKHURST — On Friday, May 13, we heard that Slim’s Koffee Shak would close its doors in two locations following news that an investor deal for expansion had fallen through. The community reacted swiftly, sharing the story with uplifting comments and positive feedback online, on social media, and over koffee. On Saturday, a friend approached Slim’s owner Scott Marsh and, by Sunday night, they had a deal.
North Fork resident Adam Hildebrand, 35, will join Scott in business as an active partner in the new venture planned for Mariposa. It’s a great fit for two reasons. Adam is a licensed contractor currently working on a construction management degree, and he’s already put himself through culinary school. Adam worked at Ducey’s on the Lake under Dawn Pliche, who now owns Willow Creek Catering.
“His investment is valuable,” says Scott, adding that Adam brings about half of the financing needed for the Mariposa shop, and his contribution doesn’t stop there. “He’s an asset. For me to pick up another young, inspired, motivated person to work with like that, I feel like I got the first round draft pick.”
Adam wants to be an involved partner, says Scott, and as soon as possible, he will be joining the crew at Slim’s to help out. Meanwhile, the experienced chef and contractor says he’s excited to take part in the venture.
“It was really heartbreaking to see the initial news that Slim’s was closing,” says Adam. “I have lived in North Fork for 21 years, and I love North Fork. It’s hard to see local businesses close down, especially under circumstances that can be rectified. I saw the opportunity and I’m glad I can help the economy, and ideally keep some local people their local jobs.”
Currently on the job himself for Pacific Construction in a collaboration with Hood Construction, Adam is working on the addition to South Gate Brewing Company.
While Adam’s contribution to the expansion and sustainability of Slim’s are nearly immeasurable, Scott explains they still need another investor to turn the dream into reality.
“We’re not out of the danger zone yet, but we’re halfway there,” says the proprietor, adding that he’s received half a dozen phone calls and emails from individuals who have expressed interested in being part of the effort to move the Slim’s project forward. “One more investor would make it really simple for us.”
Scott and the staff at Slim’s received tremendous support from the community as news spread of the impending closure last weekend.
“I knew we had that kind of support in North Fork but didn’t realize we had connected with so many people in our short time in Oakhurst. There were other friends of mine that came out of the woodwork that I would have never known were potential investors. A lot of people reached out and one woman I used to sit on a nonprofit board with said, ‘Scott, if you need that last bit of money I will get a mortgage on my cabin, right now.’ She’s no joker so I knew she was serious. That says a lot about the community that keeps on giving.”
Reflecting on the last few days of growing pains, Scott says he’s on a continuum of learning, and this most recent turn of events is a circumstance he will know how to avoid in the future.
Now, confident they’ll proceed and succeed, the main man behind Slim’s told the staff he’s pretty sure they’re not closing.
The hope is that another friendly investor will step forward and that all the people who read the article will come by one of two existing locations and grab a sandwich, just not all at once. Scott is grateful for the community support and looks forward to the future with the addition Adam and the constant help of the awesome crew at Slim’s.
“I’ve got to say something about my staff,” Scott insists. “They have been right there with me through all of this. Receiving news that we had an upcoming pink-slip party was emotional and terrifying for them. They are all just as connected with our guests as I am and all of them have been showing up to work, doing their best and keeping positive. I appreciate them so much right now for staying the course with me through this, and everybody who’s aware of our predicament and coming in. All have shown a lot of love to our crew. It’s both humbling and amazing at once. The community has no problem showing us how much they really care.”