Steve began his career as a CPA; at age twenty-six, he bought an accounting firm and grew it over the years. Steve and his two siblings all share an entrepreneurial spirit. Before he began his own business, Steve partnered with his sister when she opened her childcare center, which has since grown to 10 centers. Sheri, his sister, has been a mentor and a primary support to Steve for his entire life. He had a dream early on of replicating his
Steve began his career as a CPA; at age twenty-six, he bought an accounting firm and grew it over the years. Steve and his two siblings all share an entrepreneurial spirit. Before he began his own business, Steve partnered with his sister when she opened her childcare center, which has since grown to 10 centers. Sheri, his sister, has been a mentor and a primary support to Steve for his entire life. He had a dream early on of replicating his sister’s concept but at the opposite end of the spectrum….a care center for Seniors. Steve projected the aging of baby boomers, the need for their care, and the void in the market…His vision was born.
As his accounting practice grew, he gained exposure to home health agencies as he marketed his services preparing cost reports, which was quite lucrative at the time. He was frequently a presenter/speaker at seminars for home health agencies, which increased his exposure to professionals/owners of adult daycares, personal care homes, and small assisted living facilities. In 1996, Steve partnered with someone to buy the Nelson Wolfe estate in Leon Springs and converted the Spanish-style home to The Lodge Assisted Living. Although the partnership was short-lived, The Lodge was a dream turned reality! Steve immersed himself in learning the business and was fortunate enough to have the help of other professionals in the industry to help advise and guide him. In 1998, Steve relocated his accounting practice from the Koger Center to the frame house at The Lodge, where he is now. It was a BIG move; back then, there was nothing but ranch land on Boerne Stage Road.
Our first resident was a rather feisty, “rough around the edges” woman named Lou and shortly after, another very gracious woman, Mary, moved in, as well. Almost immediately and very easily, Steve bonded with these women. The love, care, and concern for them was just natural. As in our own family, when we had our first child, our hearts were full, and our hearts only grew bigger with our second child. Lou and Mary also made our hearts grow bigger. God blessed us with the fruition of Steve’s dream…to start a new business, but we never really anticipated the growth of a second family, which is what happened with our Lodge residents and staff. Over the past twenty-two years, we have had the honor and privilege of providing care and a home for some unforgettable, beautiful souls. Our children, John-David and Jacob, were two and four when we began this journey; today they are 26 and 24. We actually all have fond memories of their pre-school classes coming here to visit and entertain our residents.
As Steve’s wife, I have always supported and encouraged his dream. My responsibilities at The Lodge have varied over the years from cooking, landscaping, housekeeping, decorating and designing, moving, paper pushing and editing, counseling, etc. I’ve trained and been certified as an assisted living manager and food manager. I, too, have experienced loving bonds with many of our residents. Together, we have sacrificed and endured many trials and hardships to keep this dream alive. It is very personal. It is the legacy of an incredibly hard-working, loving and visionary man, my husband, Steve Kitchen. It is our hope that our children, one or both, will someday continue his legacy. Today, we have two additional wings in our original assisted living and have also grown to include independent living cottages, six two bedroom and 20 one bedroom cottages. Steve continues his accounting practice, which he began 33 years ago; seven years ago, he started another business, Senior Buddies, an In-Home Care service for Seniors. With God’s grace and the help of many faithful and dedicated employees, family, and friends, the man and the legend continue!