Last September, Justin and Trina opened their first business together, Salaryman, an izakaya and ramen shop that Dallas quickly embraced. From day one people were queuing up to an hour in advance of the doors opening in hopes of snagging a seat and some award winning bites. Salaryman and Justin Holt quickly gained accolades from: the James Beard Foundation, Texas Monthly, USA Today, Dallas Morning News, Eater, Papercity, and Modern Luxury to name a few.
The crew at Salaryman, led by Holt, remained open throughout the highs and lows of 2020, never closing, never taking a break, always pushing on.
In the early summer months, Justin started getting sick. What started with a couple of sick days here and there quickly progressed to sick weeks off. He desperately sought a diagnosis to his symptoms, visiting one doctor or another week after week.
Justin has always found joy in serving and helping others. Whether you know him through his participation in charities like Meat Fight, founding the Texas Sous Chef Dinner that benefits No Kid Hungry, serving a free Thanksgiving meal every year to those in need with Free Bird, or perhaps you are in the service industry and received a meal during the lockdown with his charity Connecting People with Plates, it is clear that Justin is always at the ready to step up and support others however he can, and now is our opportunity to return that kindness. He needs us. As a community, we can come together and help with the financial burden that lies ahead so that Justin can focus on his health and recovery, and get back to feeding Dallas the food we have all come to love.
Due to the pandemic Trina is also not allowed to leave the hospital for any reason since it would put her and subsequently Justin at risk of contracting COVID-19. If she did leave, Justin would be forced to finish out his treatment alone. For anyone who has had a loved one go through aggressive cancer treatment, you know that is not an option. Once they're out of the hospital, Justin still has a long road of treatments ahead. With great sadness, the incredibly tough decision to permanently close Salaryman was made. Justin and Trina’s decade long dream is over...but the shop is just bricks. It's the people who matter.
Right now, Justin and his family just need to focus on regaining his health.
As friends of Justin, we are asking for assistance on behalf of the family in order to help ease the initial financial burden that over a month long stay in the hospital can bring. Your kind donation will go directly to Justin to help deal with the financial repercussions of his current condition, so that he can focus on healing.
Thank you all for taking the time to hear Justin's story. Let's be a light in the dark for this thoughtful, generous, and loving man.
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