Kim McCutcheon opens Home Helpers franchise
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Jan 21, 2014 | 1476 views |  0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kim McCutcheon misses her grandparents who live in Pennsylvania. Lester and Grace Brubaker, 91 and 86 respectively, mean the world to Kim.

They’re getting to the point to where they need help to live independently in their home, and since Kim can’t be there to help out, she said she’s doing the next best thing to help older or disabled persons.

She has purchased a Home Helpers franchise and will have a grand opening on Feb. 10 at the office, 1505 Pelham Rd., S., Suite 7. She named the business portion of her franchise, Gracious Living LLC, after her grandmother.

Home Helpers provides three types of in home care ̶ companion care, personal care and emergency monitoring.

“I picked this franchise because it’s a highly successful, highly rated franchise,” said Kim. “I expect to do very well with it.”

At the time of her grand opening, she will have 10 caregivers ready to go to work and will add others as the business grows.

“I don’t want to only take care of my clients, I want to take care of my employees,” she said. She wants her caregivers to feel just as important as her clients.

“When caregivers know they are valued, it will show in the way they interact with their clients, she said. “It matters.”

Connie Thompson is operations manager. Prior to the grand opening, Kim and Connie will go to Atlanta where they will become certified senior advisors.

“That’s a highly distinguishable certification for us and this business,” said Kim.

Kim and her family moved to Jacksonville in 2008 to work at the incinerator at Anniston Army Depot. She managed the lab there until last year when the incinerator closed.

She said because she knew her job would be gone, she had a year to research her new business.

“It’s very scary to think about having this grand opening and not knowing whether or not we’ll have any business,” she said. “But I’m faithful and trusting God that He will bless this business. I think we’re doing it for a wonderful reason and I’m excited about it. Every person that I hug in this business is because I can’t hug my own grandparents.”

Kim said her company doesn’t provide medical care, but helps take care of those who can’t take care of themselves due to age, illness or disability.

Kim was born in Elgin, Ill., and graduated from high school in Elderton, Pa. She received a bachelor’s of science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

She is a member of the First United Methodist Church where she sometimes teaches Sunday school classes and Bible studies.

Her husband Keith owns Beacon Building and Remodeling, a home improvement business in Jacksonville, and is also an explosives technician. Their son Zachary, 24, lives in Madison Wisc., and will be married on Feb. 7. Their daughter, Katherine, received a scholarship to Auburn where she is a freshman studying chemical engineering.

Katherine is one of the reasons her parents decided to stay in this area. Kim was offered a job in Kentucky after Westinghouse closed the incinerator, but because Katherine asked them to stay and also because they had fallen in love with the area, they decided not to move.

Kim has a Tennessee Walking horse, Breezey, who stays at Red Barn Riding Stables. Kim and Breezey are being trained in dressage by Allison Dunn which, Kim explained, is like a ballet for horses.

“If you’ve seen it in the Olympics, it’s the guys who ride in their black tuxedos and top hats and make their horses do all these very difficult, very challenging but very beautiful movements.”

She said Breezey won’t be doing that at the Olympics or anywhere else.

“It’s more like therapy for me,” she said. “I don’t intend to show him. He’s pleasure only. I could show him though. He’s gorgeous.”

Kim enjoys baking, specifically making her own bread.

“Homemade bread with homemade peach butter is almost too good for words,” she said.


Peach Butter

4 ½ lbs. peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
½ c. water
3 c. sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine peaches, water, lemon zest and juice. Bring to boil over medium high heat.

Reduce heat and oil gently, stirring occasionally until peaches are soft, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer peach mixture to a food mill or a food processor and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy.

In a clean, large stainless steel pan, combine peach puree and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon.

Ladle hot peach butter into hot canning jars and process like jams and jellies.

Cheeseburger Soup

½ c. shredded carrots
1/3 c. chopped celery
¼ c. chopped onions
3 c. chicken broth
2 c. cooked rice
1 lb. cooked ground beef
½ lb. Velveeta
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 soup cans milk

Simmer first four ingredients for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until cheese is melted. Do not boil. Serve with hot sauce and crusty bread.

No Bake Crunch Bar

1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
½ t. cinnamon
4 c. Corn Chex cereal
1/3 c. wheat germ
¼ c. honey
1/3 c. sunflower seeds (no shells)

Combine butter, sugar and honey in 3-quart pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer about 2 minutes. Stir in wheat germ and cinnamon. Fold in cereal and seeds, mixing until evenly coated.

Press into greased 9-inch square pan. Chill until firm. Cut into bars. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Grace Brubaker's Cherry Torte

3 c. flour
½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 can cherry pie filling
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
½ c. milk
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and milk, alternating, to the creamed mixture to form stiff dough.

Reserve small portion of dough. Press remaining dough into greased jelly roll pan. Spread pie filling on top of dough. Roll out small portion of dough (add flour if necessary). Cut into strips. Create lattice top with dough strips on top of pie filling. Bake 25-30 minutes until edges are brown. Cool slightly. Slice and serve.
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Kim McCutcheon opens Home Helpers franchise by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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