I’ve been a huge fan of SADCo. since the very beginning. Maybe it’s because I’m a native Searcian and love anything new and different that comes to this quiet (and often stagnant) little town. Or maybe it’s because I knew curry, sriracha and butter thrown onto anything was bound to be amazing. Regardless, in the short amount of time Slader’s has been open, it has become a staple in not only the town’s culinary scene but also in my own personal palette.
A major inspiration behind SADCo. was Slader’s desire to share his home state with a place that had become his college home. Both places hold special memories, so why not try to meld the two together? I know from growing up in Searcy, and more broadly the South, that Alaska has a certain mystique to it. I mean, how could it not with a state nickname like “The Last Frontier?” Though there isn’t a whole lot of mystery to Slader’s (except what’s behind that curtain doorway), the restaurant does bring a refreshing new taste of a place far away.
I’ve never been to Alaska, but I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like from the way Slader has branded his business. And Slader will be the first to tell you the “real” Alaska, the Alaska he grew up in and loves, is not what you see from the cruise ship or by vacationing. The real Alaska still has a rawness to it, it’s a place that still has true wilderness and where nature has been untouched by man. It’s a place that is unforgiving and harsh while at the same time awe inspiring and majestic. And I know Slader doesn’t expect his customers pick up on these subtle nuances from eating his food, but he does want his patrons to understand and learn about the state that means so much to him.
When Slader asked me to do some photography work for his shop, I was incredibly excited to be a part, even in such a small way. Just like dumplings remind Slader of his home in Alaska, ironically they remind me of my home in Searcy. SADCo. has become a part of my hometown, a little taste of The Last Frontier in the heart of The Natural State, and its story is a tale of two homes. Never forget where you came from, instead carry it with you to all the new places life takes you.