Help Ash & the Coffeeshop
I would like to pause here to say Ash is one of the hardest working individuals I've ever known. He is also an incredibly loyal and caring person. He started this business with the very little he had, and over the past 8 years he has not only built a lovely establishment (in an unlikely location) with delicious and unique food/beverages, but he also created a space that has fostered community... like, the kind of community you see in T.V. shows like Cheers. Honestly, it's a place you could write a book about, and many have joked about doing just that. I've seen friendships and relationships formed there. There have been weddings and baby showers and graduation parties. Many of you know Ash personally, and he has blessed your life in some way... perhaps he gave you financial help, or lended a joke when you needed a laugh, or would listen to you when you had a tough day, or celebrated your good news. Yeah, he's that kind of friend.
Back to this Wednesday morning... by the time Ash arrived, the fire department had extingushed the fire (which was relatively small, it consumed a sofa and a few pieces of surrounding furniture, as well as about 8'x10' of drywall and structure)... but the majority of the damage done was by the sprinklers that couldn't be turned off, a problem out of the control of Ash or the firemen. The shop was drenched for over an hour, causing wood and furniture damage.
Two of his employees, and myself, helped to remove as much furniture as we could in order to dry up the floors before it could damage the wooden counter and walls, but once we got things under control after a few hours, the sprinklers turned back on again... completely soaking the place all over and causing further damage.
Needless to say, the coffeeshop is in shambles. I listened to several quotes from different companies, most of whom are asking between 2,500-5,000 just to fix the water damage to the space. The buildling owner may be covering the cost of the structural damage , and damage to neighboring tenats, but that still leaves Ash with the cost of furniture, the water damage mentioned above, and fixing the shattered glass door as well as taking the hit from the loss of business while all of this gets sorted out (no insurance to cover those things).
I can't tell you how much it would mean to Ash (and to me) to know you all care about him at this discouraging time. He has tried to be optimistic in the midst of the mess, "what's happened has happened", he shrugged and said when questioned how he wasn't in a corner with a bottle of whiskey. But as I watched him frantically trying to squeegee the lake of water out the front door (after the second episode of sprinkler downpour), surely, I thought, we could all help him. "I don't know what else to do", he said to me. But I think WE all know what we can do. If Ash or the coffeeshop has ever blessed you, please consider making a donation to get the shop back up and running, and I just know it will encourage Ash so much. I would personally love to throw a "re-opening party" for all of you who contribute to this cause once we get the doors open again.
I love good stories, and I believe stories that take a turn for the bad (or what seems to be bad) can eventually prove to be good again in the end. You can help give this story a happy ending, and hopefully quickly get back to eating Achilles sandwiches and drinking cortaditos with friends. Cheers!
Thank you all for reading this and for your consideration!
We are celebrating Ash's birthday at the Coffeeshop on February 24th, from 8pm-midnight. Check out the event invite, RSVP, and we will see you there! <3
Yesterday, Aicha and Nick came by to clean, Pavel and Yaro helped to instal new shelves, and, well, little Charlie was there just to make people smile... look at that face. <3
As of right now, we are hoping to have a "Thank You Party" on Friday night for everyone who donated their finances or time or words of encouragement. I'll send an official notice with the time and details once we know for sure. So pencil it in your calendars! We are hoping to be back in business by Monday (the 16th), if all goes well!
Thanks again, you guys!!
Today was amazing, we cleaned the place from top to bottom, electricity was fixed over the weekend, drywall has begun to be repaired, and over the next couple of days we will be replacing furniture and assembling coffeeshop 2.0 for your future enjoyment!
Special shoutout to the hardworking crew today. No more soot, water stains, or garbage sitting around thanks to them. Here's a photo of Jennifer Cobb and her son Matthew (not pictured: husband/father Fred who was probably still cleaning on the other side of the shop haha). Matthew was worried his favorite dessert was burned in the fire... but fret not, Matthew, we will have a whole batch with your name on it when we open :)
I found a stack of guestbooks from over the years that most of you have signed, and yea, you guys are very much a part of this place; it's such an honor to see an amazing response of support for Ash!
We are over HALFWAY there with our $10k goal!!! YOU GUYS ROCK. <3 <3 <3
Will donate tomorrow. My plan was to come tomorrow to study. Hope all goes in your favor.
Is the link for Ash's birthday not working for anyone else? I've clicked on it both here, and the one posted on the Achilles Facebook page. They get the "Sorry this page isn't available" error.
I'm so glad to see The Coffee Shop is going to be open again. This was to be our monthly lunch date for our group in Feb. Hope it's open in time. You are gem for putting this GoFundMe Campaign together.