Kristin, a native Oregonian, grew up in a Coast Guard family which took her from coast to coast. College brought her to Point Loma Nazarene College and a degree in Political Science, which turned out to be not a good career fit for her. After a lot of prayer and personal assessment, she felt called to use her gift of hospitality and moved to Portland to attend Western Culinary Institute where she graduated with honors. Kristin took a position as a pastry chef at Papa Haydn, a restaurant in northwest Portland known for their stunning desserts. She also befriended a nice young man she met at church who thought she was a little wacky and a lot of a dreamer.
Curt grew up in on a farm in small town Iowa and earned his Master’s degree in economics at Iowa State University. He put himself through school working in the university’s IT department and as a manager at Pizza Hut. Shortly after graduation, Curt felt the calling to head west and migrated to Portland where he started working at CTC Consulting, an investment consulting firm to wealthy families. Curt quickly bought into Kristin’s dream to open a bed and breakfast in wine country and they were married in 2001.
Kristin continued her culinary career in the wedding cake department at Beaverton Bakery where she was inspired to launch a home-based wedding cake business. This proved to be a stepping stone to realizing the creative entrepreneur within her. Curt’s long-term planning was appeased by occasional country drives following “for sale” signs. God led them to a parcel of land in Newberg, OR, with amazing views and a half-finished home in 2005. Kristin and Curt worked with an architect and contractor to build the house that would become Chehalem Ridge Bed and Breakfast and opened for business in 2007.
Kristin runs the day-to-day operations at the Bed and Breakfast as innkeeper, chef, bookkeeper, maintenance wiz, marketer and more. Although Curt continues to commute into southwest Portland on weekdays as Principal and co-founder at Variant Investments, he is hands-on when it comes to the Bed and Breakfasts’ technology and landscaping. Apparently, there is some truth to the saying “you can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” On the weekends you might find him rooting around in the dirt as he tackles the next landscaping project.
In 2018, Kristin broadened the team through the addition of Liz to the newly created position of Assistant Innkeeper. With a background in Portland’s bustling bar and restaurant industry, as well as a long history in event coordination, Liz has found the transition to innkeeping and the world of tourism an absolute joy. She is a recent transplant to wine country and has embraced the duty of learning all she can about the area wineries, restaurants and activities with gusto. At the inn, Liz handles most of the morning guest duties, serving breakfast and helping guests plan their adventures in wine country. She helps Kristin provide the welcoming and comfortable atmosphere to which our guests are accustomed.
Back in 2012, there was a black feral cat out on the path below the house. A lovely guest asked if she could go feed the cat her bacon. I laughed, because feral cats take off at any noise, and said sure. She went down to the bottom of the steps, left a small piece of bacon and came back up to the top. The cat came and took the bacon and ran away. Our guest went down, left another piece of bacon and came back up to the top. The cat again came and took the bacon and ran away. This continued till the end of the bacon was all gone and the cat decided to stick around. A few weeks later, I left town and left Curt in charge. When I came back, Stumpy had a new house, with a thermostat-controlled heater painted to match the B&B. He really wants to be pet, but he is still a feral cat at heart. He lives outside and is afraid of movement and noise. We can teach you to pet him, but it takes patience.
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