Stephen Joost

Partner, Firehouse Subs

Hello, my name is Stephen Joost. I am a 3rd generation native of Jacksonville, Florida! I am the son of Hobart and Rita Joost, who raised seven children in the Southside of our fabulous city. My commitment of service to our community can be traced to the values they instilled in our family growing up.

I am a graduate of Bolles High School and Tulane University, and received my professional start with Touche Ross (now Deloitte) in 1984, as a professional accountant. My career really did not start until the Sorensen brothers started Firehouse Subs. Back in 1994, I lost my job and was flat broke. With nothing else but my smarts and whit, I wrote over 250 letters (pre-internet) to everybody I could think of announcing the start of my own accounting business! This is what I call putting on a “brave face” and the “fake it until you make it” phase of my life, because I had no idea of how things would turn out. My great friend, Jim VonArx gave me a free office and a computer. Then I convinced a friend, Chuck, to allow me to “beta test” (for free) the best accounting package in the restaurant industry. Within a year, I paid Chuck the $10,000 for the cost of the software package. Financially, it hurt, because it was all the money I made my first year (and then some), but it was the right thing to do. I was in business!

Then a few months later in 1994 I joined forces with the Sorensen brothers and helped them start Firehouse Subs. From the beginning of Firehouse Subs I handled all of their accounting. Plus, at night I hung shelves, installed equipment and did whatever it took to help get the restaurants open. It was a tough go in the beginning but we never looked back.

My wife Nicole and I are raising two teenage children, Emma and Christopher. We are doing our best to instill in them some of the great values our parents taught us, one of which is to never give up and to persevere.

One of the many important beliefs I hold true is that “no matter what capacity you find yourself in, it is always important to give back.” I believe that the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus fulfills an important mission of teaching moral principles, integrity and teamwork, in a healthy and loving environment, while also developing an artistical, musical skill set that will last a lifetime. What could be more important? Plus, it sounded like fun!” Therefore, at the risk of total embarrassment – I am dancing with the stars!

Professional Partner: Ashley Novak