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Publisher – May June 2022

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Dear Kendall County Woman reader,

If you’ve lived in Kendall County for any period of time, you’ve probably been a guest at the businesses of our cover story, Veronica Brown.

You might have ventured to Little Gretel for a nice dinner, or perhaps for their extremely popular Sunday brunch. If you have been there, you’ve undoubtedly seen
Veronica hustling around the restaurant working with her mom, Denise, who happens to be the Chef, or her father Jimmy, who is equally working tirelessly to keep everything running as smooth as possible.

Later, after your dinner, you have probably ventured next door to Salvador Dobbs for a good cocktail and for some live music (both of which are rare in Boerne), and yet again, here comes Veronica helping to refill the ice machines and she is wiping down the counter at her bar.

Lifelong residents of the County, Veronica and her family have grown some seriously deep roots locally, and that passion for their business AND their community is evidenced in many ways. This issue, we were able to sit down with Veronica and get her story of how a young woman, caught with a bit of trepidation as to how life is going to unfold for her, ultimately finds herself managing (and owning) two of the area’s most well known destination spots. Her hard work, her determination, and her dreams that she refused to let slip away…speak to the spirit of a woman with some lofty goals, and who isn’t afraid of the elbow grease it takes to realize those goals.

Beyond that, we’ve got a variety of profiles on local women doing some amazing things, as well as information on fashion, health, and so much more.

My constant reminder that some 90% of our content comes from suggestions from you, the readers. So if you know of a woman doing some amazing work or with a story that is engaging, don’t be a stranger! Reach out via the emails on this page and let’s have a conversation!

Welcome to May – as the summer season kicks off, I hope that you all enjoy the warmer temps, the transition to the ending of school for the year, and that you make countless memories!

Sincerely,

Peggy Schooley

Good Summer Reads: By Local Authors

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1. The Texan’s Truth
By Jolene Navarro
Returning to his hometown, Bridges Espinoza is surprised to find, Lilianna, the woman he once secretly loved, there as well. But even more stunning is the child who shows up claiming to be his son. Certain he can’t be a father, Bridges works with Lilianna to find the truth. A shocking discovery about Cooper’s parentage could tear their makeshift family apart.

2. Kendall of the Picayune
By Fayette Copeland
George Wilkins Kendall, who founded the New Orleans Picayune in 1837, was a restless, impatient, and colorful character in an exciting era. For thirty years he guided the Picayune and built it into a powerful force in behalf of America’s westward expansion. Kendall’s vigorous editorials championed the cause of the infant Republic of Texas.

3. Ghost Daughter
By Helen Currie Foster
When lawyer Alice MacDonald Greer finds the dead body of her friend and client Ellie Windom at the foot of a staircase, she knows trouble’s coming. Serving as executor for her friend’s will means grappling with Ellie’s explosive secrets: a long-lost daughter unknown to her feuding sons and a long-ago lover with enemies of his own. Join Alice as she tries to dodge danger and uncover the murderous truth in a race across Texas and New Mexico.

4. Bloodlines & Fencelines
By D.L.S. Evatt
Sheriff Ray Crawford Osborne is in over his head when someone murders the First Lady of Lantz, Texas. Suspects include her persnickety husband; their daughter; a businesswoman with a reputation for revenge; a nasty local drunk; a combat veteran; the richest man in town; and a young man who had a peculiar relationship with the victim. Osborne may not know much about detective work, but he knows the secrets and lies of everyone in town.

5. #Huntedlives
By Kady Hinojosa
Splashed across Twitter and YouTube, murders are stacking up and there are more questions than answers. FBI agent, Mali Hooper, teams up with Special Agent, Jacob Black, to hunt the killer. As they race to solve the case, Mali herself becomes the target. Can she survive the pain, exhaustion, and terror she is about to face?

6. An Alzheimer’s Journey:
Carolyn’s Return to Birth
By Edward Alderette
Edward wrote this book, dedicated to Carolyn’s memory and her many life accomplishments, with the hope that their experience may profit others who are assaulted by the harsh blows and the ultimate finality of which Alzheimer’s spares no one when it asserts itself in their life. Edward walked alongside Carolyn, relying on his many years of experience as a psychotherapist to help her with the fears that came with the condition while helping himself reframe the tragedy into an opportunity for personal spiritual growth and a deepened connection with her.

7. Mom and Pop Tex-Mex:
Café Style Tex-Mex Cooking
By Michael Fahrenthold
Mom and Pop Tex-Mex is a book about the way Tex-Mex cooking used to be before it was “glamoured” up and “improved” by those who felt they could do it better. Included are traditional recipes used in popular cafes and restaurants in San Antonio and the South Texas region. If you want to know the way to do it in your own restaurant or at home, you can use the same recipes and feel confident that you are serving the same food you would have found in the 1950’s and 1960’s in San Antonio’s “Mexican” Restaurants.

8. The Ambassadors of the Texas Hill Country
By John F. Aceti
Moving from one state to another and from one country to another can be an exciting and challenging experience. Fifty-four individuals tell their stories about how they came to the state of Texas and specifically the Texas Hill Country to work, live or retire. These people share their life stories from childhood to the present time and tell why they left their home states or countries to search for the American dream.

 

Visit The Boerne Bookshop | 153 S. Main St. #120 | Boerne, TX 78006 | 830-249-0000 | www.TheBoerneBookshop.com

Fashion – May / June 2022

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Assemble Cocktail Workshop: Lillian Oler

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When did you start your business? January 2022

What made you venture into business for yourself?
Assemble Cocktail Workshop was created once I came across the cutest cottage space in Downtown Boerne to lease. I have worked in hospitality as a server and bartender in amazing restaurants and for private events in the past and loved it. I always called it a “productive social life.” Then, during the pandemic, I, like many people, found the time to focus on priorities. After furloughs, wildfires and school shutdowns, my family and I moved from the Napa Valley, back here to the Hill Country where I grew up. I started event bartending for weddings and parties and realized there was room for improvement- cocktails should be elaborate and complex, not just some random tequila and bottled mix. I decided to create my own bartending business so I could help elevate the focal point of a celebration, the bar! Clients and guests were often curious about the process or ingredients involved in the recipe. In the back of my mind, I knew that a lot of people were interested in this kind of thing. Once I found the space downtown, it all came together and Assemble Cocktail Workshop was born.

What has been proven to be the most difficult part of getting your business going?
I built my own website and I do all the marketing myself. That has been very challenging for me, as I am not naturally tech savvy- just learning as I go. On the bright side, I feel very connected to my business and see each social media comment, message etc.

What has kept you motivated as your business grows?
Guests keep me motivated. Just thinking about how many other wonderful activities there are to do, and they chose to spend their outing here at Assemble Cocktail Workshop, means a lot. That gratitude will never fade. It makes me want to do everything 100% because each detail matters and is noticed.

What are your short and long term goals for your business?
A short term goal is to build a better website that is more streamlined with a better booking calendar and more information about workshop offerings. I’d also like to continue doing collaborations once a month with amazing business owners to bring unique experiences to Boerne. A long term goal for Assemble Cocktail Workshop is to start constantly offering cold press cocktail mixers, rather than just by special request.

Best business advice you have received?
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it” That advice puts things in perspective and makes me motivated to keep pushing on.

How has the community supported your business?
Yes! The community of Boerne has been wonderful. I rely on word of mouth to keep busy- and it seems to be working! Additionally, I joined the Chamber and connected with Visit Boerne. Networking within these groups has helped get to know, and share my business with fellow business owners and members of the community.
What is your favorite summer cocktail to whip up?
Cucumber Collins: see recipe below.

Cucumber Collins
The perfect summer cocktail!

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Gin
1 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
Topo Chico (or your favorite plain seltzer)
Seedless cucumber slices
Mint sprig (garnish)
Bitters (optional)

1) Prepare serving glass with thin cucumber slices inside on wall of glass
2) In a shaker tin, add all 2 cucumber slices and gin, muddle gently
3) Add simple syrup, lemon and lime juice, and ice
4) Shake until well chilled.
5) Strain over fresh ice into serving glass
6) Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and a couple dashes of your favorite bitters to add some depth.

This is a crowd pleaser, refreshingly perfect for those warm summer afternoons by the pool or alongside a meal. Cheers!

Veronica Brown: Balancing Work & Family Life

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by Ben Schooley

Photography by
Paula VM Photography

Veronica Brown, owner of Salvador Dobbs and part of the family ownership team of Little Gretel grew up in Boerne, and works some seriously hard hours to maintain the roots that she and her family have established. Managing and operating Little Gretel with her parents Jimmy and Denise Mazal, Brown also fully owns and manages one of Boerne’s only full bars with the help of her great staff. From the exhausting day-to-day frustrations of operating hospitality businesses…all the way through COVID lockdowns and everything in between, Brown has fast established her own mark on her hometown and takes it more than a little seriously.

 

Brown, talking from the patio of her bar Salavador Dobbs on a quiet Tuesday morning, begins, “I graduated BHS in ’01. I was big into volleyball, high jump, athletics in general. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, though. I knew I wanted to go to college, but I couldn’t figure out a plan, and I decided to go my dad’s route with his international business, British American Instrumental Corporation. They sold medical and robotic equipment so I suppose I just figured I would take over for him at some point. Who knows, it was just an idea. However, he lost the company around ’01 so I had to figure out a new plan.”

However, her new plan was without much direction. With parents that couldn’t fund her college aspirations, Brown entered the workforce working part time at the Fair Oaks Country Club while attending UTSA for Publication Relations / Marketing. As she neared graduation in 2006, Brown was again left wondering what the next chapter would be for her, and ultimately, it included Boerne again.

She continues, “My parents had opened Tricots was opened in ’89, which became Ewe and Eye (current Salvador Dobbs location). Mom wanted to be close to us at school when we were young and she was a knitter so it was centered on that. She was a published knitter and was quite well known. It ultimately transferred to a toy shop – European old world toy shoppe and she loved it. Her secret passion was cooking and she always wanted a restaurant but she had us young kids running around and that would have been impossible. Then my parents bought the Little Gretel property in ’99 which was opened as K-Bird’s shortly after and then Capers on the River. At the time I needed another job – the part time work at Fair Oaks wasn’t cutting it so I got a waitressing job at Capers with Stuart Perlitz.”


A new graduate, Brown also had the opportunity to assist fellow restauranteur, Keith Moore , who was preparing to open The Dodging Duck. She explains, “I’m in my early ‘20s and I loved working in the industry. I loved being in Boerne again, the people were great, and it was so much fun. I felt like I had ownership of the Duck and I was so proud of what we did there. New faces and new relationships were created and many of those relationships still exist today.”

Back at the Little Gretel properly, several restaurants had come and gone in the ensuing years, and the most recent one had broken the lease and put the family into a tough financial situation. “My parents were stressed pretty badly about that situation. I was in my mom’s toy shoppe and I said “Why don’t we open a restaurant? You’re an amazing chef. Dad could do the accounting.” And that was the beginning of the adventures, which I suppose was the fall of ’07.”

Perhaps with some naivety, the family began to consider this potential project. “I was having such fun in the restaurant business so I figured maybe it was time to run my own business in the industry. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As a family we sat down and started thinking about how it would actually work and who would do what. We wanted to do something great with a new restaurant, but it was also to fix the issues the broken lease caused them. It was very stressful but we were excited at the possibilities. Mom wanted her dream, the kids were grown, and I could help her make that happen.”
The building, constructed in ’99 was purposefully built to reflect the German heritage of Boerne. When Denise called the architect and said the family was going to construct a restaurant in the building, he said playfully “Oh, the Hansel and Gretel building?” and she said “Yes – the Little Gretel”…and the name stuck.


With a name, a layout designed, and a united family, the journey had begun. Brown continues, “I just enjoyed the planning process. I learned how to do everything from the ground up, codes, construction, rules, and the things necessary to get something off the ground. We gutted the building when we designed it and it was a blast. The details were important to me. We have the coolest bathrooms in town. The décor. The art. The colors. The silverware. The bar creation was so fun for me. Mom was in charge of the kitchen, but dad and I really worked so hard on all the other details and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
So, in January of 2009, the Little Gretel opened. And things went as hoped.


She continues, “Once we officially opened, it was amazing. We created something that hadn’t been done locally. Extremely passionate chef, staff, family…and we worked so very hard. The next few years were just perfect. We weren’t overly busy, and we weren’t dead. Figuring out the staffing was hard, but it was just so fun to learn as things grew. It was perfectly planned and I am very proud of those opening years.”


With her own young family at this point, Brown understood the strain that a young family can put on one’s life, especially as a single parent. She explains, “I’ve always wanted a bar and always thought Boerne needed a real bar. I used to love getting off work at Gretel and going to Ye Kendall Inn and having a cocktail. Listening to live music. Seeing my friends, and Boerne didn’t really have that. I always thought there’s no way I could run a bar because I had 2 kids at the time and knew it couldn’t happen. In 2016 I found myself with some money issues. I was struggling with the hours at the restaurant and my needs to make income. I looked at taking on a 2nd job but I knew it wasn’t realistic…. ultimately I started kicking around an idea to take over Ewe and Eye and turning it into a bar. Finally, dad said that if I could get a loan, go for it. I knew that Boerne needed a bar, and I knew in my heart that it would work. Eliot was 7, Juliet was 4…. i knew it wouldn’t be impossible. I had managerial help and I knew it would be tough with the kids, but I knew I could do it. It was scary, but I was excited.”

Brown also had a vision for her bar, and who might enjoy it. “I wanted everybody to be able to walk into the bar and enjoy it. People would ask me “What’s your target market?” and I would just say “Boerne – I want them all to feel comfortable at Dobbs. The younger folks. The working guys. An older couple coming to dance to music in the evening. The professionals. The Moms. I wanted all of them. I wanted everyone to enjoy it – and I fucking did it man. I get the birthday parties. The ladies’ night out. Singles looking for dates. 70 year-old couple. Professional guys having a meeting. They are all welcome here and they’ll feel like they belong and that’s perhaps my favorite part.”

As for the name of Salvador Dobbs, that has familial roots as well. She explains, “I wanted a family name and a good story for the name. My dad’s uncle, Salvador Mazal owned Dobbs Hat Company out of New York City in the ’20 s and 30s. I called it Dobbs Bar for a while, but I wanted more of a story behind it, so I quizzed dad on all the family and their histories, and then the name hit me – Salvador Dobbs. I was sitting on the patio at Gretel with a bar napkin writing down names, and I wrote out Salvador Dobbs, and I knew that was it.”

Brown, true to her roots and relationships, sat down with local builder and contractor Shelly Condra (STXC Construction) who had known one another since high school, and friend Don Reiter as a restaurant consultant, and the designs began to come together. “We had an architect so I brought some prelim plans to Shelly and we just sat there and Don Reiter was with us and he was helping as a consultant as one of my friends. We sat around and made sketches and moved things around and it started to come along. Once we figured out the bar location, we started knocking down walls on paper and started figuring out where the stage was going and all the changes we were going to make. It was super stressful, but I had a blast. Measure twice and cut once – it was a tough process to meet the timelines, handle the bank, the City and their requirements…but it was so much fun.”

And with that, Salvador Dobbs was then opened in January of 2018. “Having Little Gretel, all I did was work. They told me that if I opened a 2nd location you’d work less. I didn’t believe that. But you learn how to delegate and stop being in a location 24/7 and how to trust others. I learned how to run it, find staff, and have more time with my family. And that’s what I found. I fixed my finances, and it stabilized me to be around more for the kids.”

The learning curve was fast and furious for Brown as well. With 2 businesses to manage, time was a premium that had to be sorted out quickly. “I learned that I can’t do it all. I did it all at Little Gretel and I had to learn that I just couldn’t do it on my own. I had to learn how to organize my time, how to trust employees, and how to hire better people. I was walked all over when I was at Little Gretel by staffing, and I learned how to manage those situations better and figure it out. The first year and a half at Dobbs was tough and I didn’t stop. I would be at the restaurant all day, at the bar all night, go home at 2am and be back at 8am. It was rough but that’s what it took to make things successful.”

Since then, Brown’s life has stabilized a bit and she’s found the balance she has long wanted. “It’s gone fabulous. The support I got from the community from the shutdown from COVID was unreal. I was devastated and scared – how would I make it through that? My banker helped me, the community, and my staff saved us. They lived off unemployment and came back the second we could open our doors. During the shutdown, the love from everyone was just amazing. And my staff keeping their spirits up and we were closed for 7 total months, which is just impossible. It’s done what I wanted it to do – all walks of life coming through the door. These musicians bring life to people and seeing people come back to normal and having an escape in this town is just so valuable to me. I love watching people just be safe and cordial and personable and experience life. It makes my heart so happy. It’s been extremely successful and it’s like a party from one day to the next.”
As for her successes, Brown credits the majority of it to two groups of people: the population of Kendall County in general, and her staff. “I’ve grown up here, and I love this town. It’s growing like mad, but I couldn’t do what I do without the support of this community. The support over the years has been humbling. People came into our restaurant and have told us that they are going to move here because of the restaurant. During the shutdown, we had to pay our extortion fee to re-open Dobbs and we had to serve food. So we sold canned goods that people could buy to keep our doors open. We had people walking in and just buying dozens of cans so we could get our revenues up, and we would then donate the purchased goods into local charities. We had one guy call in from Chicago and donate $300 in canned goods and we then donated that back. That support was insane – we were able to receive the support and then simultaneously give back to the community.

My staff also – I simply can’t speak highly enough of them. Really. These industries are so difficult management wise, and I have been blessed with a staff that I genuinely just love as human beings and their help and support from day one until today has been invaluable. We’re all friends even though we’re co-workers, and the blood, sweat, and tears that they put into these businesses is simply so humbling. They’ve been there to lift me up at my darkest moments and to cheer as a group at our successes and I would talk about them for an hour if you’d let me. And I hope they read this and know truly how I feel about them!” she laughs.

As she wraps up, Brown comes back to her family roots with her projects, and speaks briefly about what they mean to her as well. She finishes, “Working with family can be tough, and yeah, we get into fights…but that’s family, right? It’s been great working with my mother and she’s such the talented inspirational chef and my dad has taught me so much. They have been extremely supportive of all I’ve done, though we all butt heads from time to time, but it’s the only people you can really trust. At the end of the day, we’re family and I’m so grateful for them. Also my fiancee Kevin has been crucial in all of this as he has helped me stay focused and help with the kids. So I couldn’t do it without him, either” So basically, these people around me are my biggest blessings and I’m so thankful for all of them.”

Cleopatra Talos: REALTOR® Cibolo Creek Realty

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Name: Cleopatra Ilie Talos

Title: Real Estate Professional, The Wagner Team, Cibolo Creek Realty

Years of experience: 1

What were you doing before real estate?
I was born and raised in Romania where I fell in love with my first calling: music. I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 with nothing but two bags full of dreams and my flute to study classical music at UCLA where I earned a Bachelor of Arts (Magna cum Laude) and a Masters Degree in Classical Music Performance, and I also hold an Artist Degree from USC. I am unapologetically curious about all sorts of fields and have ventured into various directions: from being a professional musician to becoming a successful entrepreneur, to taking some time off to be a stay-home-mom, to being a recording artist, singer-songwriter, flutist, pianist and educator.

I have toured internationally extensively since the early 90s with various music productions, I’ve enjoyed live TV and Radio appearances, teaching masterclasses, creating music therapy programs for survivors of human trafficking rings, and just about every aspect of being a professional musician.

But I have also found much joy in entrepreneurship. I’ve entered the fine jewelry designer field as the first ever employee of JudeFrances Jewelry and became the National Department Stores VP of Operations and Director of Personnel. I later co-founded Valahian Queens Belts, a high-end belt line formerly available at Nordstrom and staple boutiques, and lastly founded Tysons Music Academy in McLean, Virginia.

I am a citizen of the world, with an international mindset and an eclectic background and I don’t think I will ever lose the hunger to discover new interests.

How did you get into real estate?
Real Estate has always intrigued me, and it has been in the back of my mind for years as my “after 40s” plan, thus when I met Travis Wagner, my mentor and broker, I knew it was the right time and definitely the perfect place to embark on this new journey.

What skills do you utilize from earlier in life in your real estate career?
Creativity, flexibility, tenacity, transparency and staying grounded: nothing makes you more humble and honest with yourself than being center stage and knowing you’ve come prepared to awe your audience. For me, there’s no such thing as pure luck or that once in a lifetime moment unless you bring the skills to meet such a chance. Preparation is key, and laser focus is a must regardless what field you’re in, regardless what your competition is doing. You always bring your A game.

What has been your favorite part of real estate? Meeting people! I absolutely love meeting people of all walks of life and hearing their “whys” for making real estate decisions, gaining a new friend while talking about comps, or making lasting connections in the most random ways.

What has proven the most challenging?
I can honestly say I don’t feel like I’ve hit a wall at any point (yet). I think as long as I keep an open mind and employ madly-creative ways of navigating the intricate buying/selling process, there will always be a “way where there’s a will”. However, as any agent would attest, abnormally low inventory levels make our correct market conditions quite challenging to combat.

How has the community supported you locally? Texas HIll Country people in general are some of the kindest, most straight forward folks I’ve ever met (and I’ve lived and traveled all over the world). I have found tremendous support, encouragement and amount of open-arms here than in any other area where I’ve opened a business. From the Boerne Chamber of Commerce’ support to the Hill Country Women in Business, to local church groups, PTOs, small business networks, neighbours, strangers at the park willing to share their story and listen to mine, I’ve never felt alone along this new path.

What do you credit with your success?
I credit the support of my husband, who has always been open all my new business ideas. I also am thankful for the love and patience of our children (who have eaten more cereal breakfasts this year than ever). I also credit my friends, who have promoted my brand from day one and have sent me referrals. And, last but not least, Travis Wagner, who has been teaching me step-by-step the ins-and-outs of this business, in a way that no realtor school would have ever been able to do. He presented real-life scenarios. Without all of them by my side, I would probably still be taking online MLS courses and be waiting for my first transaction to take place.

What is your focus as we move into summer and the last half of ’22?
Reflecting on my first year in business I am immensely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had and for all who have trusted me with their real estate dreams. I look forward to helping more and more people write a happy-ending real estate story while I focus on paying it forward. I am currently working on a new project to make music education, free musical instruments and recording/producing opportunities available to underprivileged students with great music abilities. Music is my first love, the common denominator between my past, my present and my future. Through real estate work I will be able to channel funds to help young musicians afford to fall head over hills with music just as I did.

Young Entrepreneur: Britton Budnik

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Young entrepreneur, Britton, age 11, is in business of baking and selling cookies,
cupcakes, and other items. We asked her a few things about her business.

What’s your age, grade and what school do you attend?
I am 11 years old and I am a 5th grader and Home Schooled.

How did you get into your business?
Momma and I wanted to experiment with cookies and icing since I have always lived to bake. We made our first batch and daddy said they were the best cookies he’s ever had. So we decided to post them and offer them for sale and it took off from there!

How have your parents helped you?
Momma has taught me the recipes, some of the techniques and she’s teaching me how to use my creativity and experience in art! Daddy has been supportive in the process and he’s always up for being a cookie tester.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learned in running your business?
To always do my best and strive to make customers happy because they will always come back!

What are your future plans for the business?
I would love to have my own bakery someday. I would love to learn more recipes that are more complicated and challenging.

After high school, what are your plans?
To continue my business for baking and maybe attend culinary school.

What would you like to do for your career?
I would love to always be a baker and always be my own boss!

How has Kendall County supported you?
I have had many friends and family support me in placing orders for their events. Word of mouth has been great for me and I have had a lot of support from local businesses as well.

Socially Cured: By Breezie Campbell

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Located in the heart of Boerne TX, Socially Cured by Breezie Campbell consistently sets the standard for Grazing Art in the Texas, Hill Country. They are proud to be looked to as a leader and visionary in Charcuterie Art & Boutique Catering and will elevate your next gathering with uniqueness, style, and elegance.

What made you venture into business for yourself?
Socially Cured was a vision and dream I shared with my husband. It came out of our mutual passion for fine dining and unique pairings and how they are the core of entertaining. When he passed away in 2019 everything came to a halt.

It took time, but I knew that I could not let loss and grief define me. I wanted to follow our dream and for our children to witness that in darkness you can still find light. After a lot of prayer and petitioning the Lord, Socially Cured was created.

Entertaining is and has always been a huge part of my life. I couldn’t think of a better way to make a living.

What has been proven to be the most difficult part of getting your business going?
Starting a new business, as most know, is ever consuming. As a single mother, the most difficult part of starting Socially Cured was learning how to balance both work and home-life. This meant carving out enough time for each and finding a healthy balance.

What has kept you motivated as your business grows?
Seeing the dream I shared with my late-husband come to life and flourish. I know he would be so proud.

I love when I am around town and a stranger sees my logo and they say “Oh, my gosh…I love your work…I follow you on Instagram!” That right there is so rewarding. That is what keeps me going.

What are your short and long term goals for your business?
The first year is the hardest of any small business owner. So, my short-term goal was to ultimately get through the first year working with a formulated, yet flexible plan. I faced plenty of challenges but I learned that no matter how hard it got I needed to adapt and overcome. I became humbled and gained a new level or respect for all business owners.
My long-term goal is to grow Socially Cured into a business that will allow for more boutique catering options.

Best business advice you’ve ever received?
“Your biggest successes are born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risk.

How has the community supported your business?
I can’t speak highly enough about how amazingly supportive Boerne-Kendall County has been to Socially Cured. I am so blessed to work in such a remarkable town that rallies around their small businesses.

Since it’s summer, what is your favorite summer charcuterie board to whip up?
During those hot summer nights, you can never go wrong with Burrata. Burrata is an Italian cows milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It pairs well with peaches, tomatoes, cantaloupe, & prosciutto. Don’t forget some balsamic glaze to drizzle on top and your favorite refreshing summer cocktail. Cheers!

Mark Rodkey, MD: Mark Rodkey, MD

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Dr. Mark Rodkey is the area’s newest addition to the medical community. With a slightly different business structure than the typical “doctor’s office”, Dr. Rodkey is working hard to re-invent patient care for our most vulnerable population, and do it in way that still maximizes patient care and convenience.

 

Year founded? 2022

Education?
College Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington. Medical school Wayne State University in Detroit. Pediatric residency Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland Ohio. Pediatric emergency medicine fellowship, Children’s Hospital medical center of Akron, Akron Ohio.

What has been your experience?
I have 30 years caring for children in the emergency department at Children’s hospitals and 15 years of leadership experience as medical director. I have One year experience as chief medical officer at a camp for immigrant children. I have received appointments to five medical schools, and have extensive education experience.

Accolades/awards/certifications?
I am Board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine. I am also certified in basic life support, pediatric advanced life support, advanced pediatric life support, advanced cardiac life support, neonatal resuscitation, and advanced trauma Life support.

Tell us a little about your business model
Platinum Pediatrics is the first office of its kind! It is based on a direct care model, where families pay a monthly subscription and have direct access to the nurses and physicians who work in the office in Boerne. The physicians and nurses have extensive experience in pediatric emergency departments and therefore are very comfortable taking care of children when they are sick or injured.

The practice does not take insurance, and is based upon a monthly subscription. This allows parents to know that their child’s health care is not based upon reimbursement, and is not limited by an insurance company’s requirements. The medical care received in the office is included in the monthly fee.

Because the staff have experience in pediatric emergency departments, Platinum Pediatrics can provide medical interventions that might not otherwise be available in a private office. Evaluation and treatment of most medical problems, and many injuries can be accomplished without a trip to the emergency department.


What made you choose this particular model?
The model for this practice was developed in order to solve many of the problems we all face with emergency departments, and getting access to the physicians and nurses who can help us because they know us. The seed was planted when I was helping a friend’s daughter who lives in Boerne. She had been to an emergency department without a successful treatment plan. Her pediatrician was unavailable. While helping her with an apparent asthma attack, I realized that the closest Pediatric emergency facility was 40 minutes away. After successfully treating the episode, and getting her the appropriate medications, she did not have to be admitted to the hospital.

People who live in suburban or rural places often do not have access to higher level care for their children. The model we have developed is intended to bring that care closer to them.


Why Boerne?
We have lived in Boerne for 12 years. Our three boys graduated from Boerne High School. This practice will allow us to give our community the medical expertise we have been giving at large children’s hospitals for several decades.

How are you working closely with other providers in the area?
Platinum Pediatrics will be an asset to every practice in Boerne! The pediatricians will have access to care which they are accustomed to receiving only at large children’s hospitals. The Urgent Care centers have access to people who are very comfortable with children who are sick or injured. The emergency department will have another resource.

There’s an outreach program to dentists, other physicians, sub-specialists, pharmacists, schools, preschools, and many more people who are responsible for the well-being of our children. Platinum Pediatrics will be a resource for Boerne!


How has the community supported you so far?
Parents have indicated relief that they have a place in Boerne to take their children for help. Physicians and other medical professionals have indicated they are happy to have a new resource. Small businesses have shown interest as a way to provide a local option for their employees’ children when they are injured or sick.

Craft Beer Girls of Boerne (CBGB)

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Craft Beer Girls of Boerne (CBGB) is a group of women who get together in the local area to enjoy the craft beer Boerne has to offer and to socialize with other women. CBGB has events one to two times per month at a local Boerne brewery. Look us up on Facebook to join our private group and visit our events page to see our upcoming meetups.