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  • Keith and Stacy Zolman grew up in Pasadena and now own six area McDonald’s stores.
    Photo by Gracie Fairfax
    Keith and Stacy Zolman grew up in Pasadena and now own six area McDonald’s stores.

Area Businessman Now Owns Six Local McDonald’s Stores

Gracie Fairfax
Gracie Fairfax's picture
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May 18, 2017

Keith Zolman has had a lifelong connection to McDonald’s. Keith’s father spent 50 years in the business – from 15 to 65, his parents met at a McDonald’s and Keith’s first job was at the Severna Park McDonald’s. On November 1, 2016, Keith took his involvement with the business a step further as he and his wife Stacy became the owners of six area McDonald’s stores.

Keith’s parents purchased their first restaurant in Glen Burnie on July 1, 1991. They grew their business to five restaurants before closing one and selling two. Keith and Stacy, previously partial owners of his parent’s stores, bought the remaining two Glen Burnie restaurants from his mother following his father’s death last year. They bought the four Pasadena restaurants from Barb and Bob Houck.

Growing from being partial owners and operators of two stores to owning six stores overnight was an adjustment for the Zolmans, not without growing pains, but the Zolmans are hard at work smoothing out the wrinkles.

For Keith, the hardest part of the shift has been merging two companies and two ways of thinking.

“I ran a company a certain way. He ran a company a certain way and [the hardest part is] trying to get the management all on the same page and to think as one and perform as one team,” Keith said. “Even though they’re individual restaurants, I look at this as an organizational team. They need to be a team and have each other’s backs and support each other.”

Both Keith and Stacy grew up in Pasadena. Stacy has lived her entire life in Pasadena and Keith moved to the area from Baltimore County when he was 10. They are now raising their daughter and son in Pasadena.

The Zolmans love the big, small-town feel that Pasadena offers and enjoy getting to know the customers who come in regularly for a cup of coffee and a chat about the weather.

But owning and operating a store close to home is unusual. Typically, the person who operates a store is not the owner and owner’s stores are often spread apart across a region.

“We really lucked out getting these stores,” Stacy said. “All six stores are within about 10 miles of our home. Our farthest restaurants are in Glen Burnie.”

Their Pasadena stores are located on Mountain Road, Magothy Beach Road in Lake Shore, and Fort Smallwood Road while their Glen Burnie locations are on Ritchie Highway, Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard and Ordnance Road.

When asked about their favorite part about being business owners, the Zolmans stated that they love dealing with people.

“As a company, we probably have about 300 employees. It’s nice to know that you’re giving somebody an opportunity, giving back to the community, watching people grow within our organization,” Keith said. “Somebody who came from nothing who had parents that struggled to keep the lights on sometimes [can] make something of themselves and move on to bigger and better places.”

In addition to caring for their employees, the Zolmans serve the community through back-to-school nights, donations for area activities, and involvement in the Ronald McDonald House charities in Baltimore. They also want to provide the best experience they can for their customers.

“We want to run a clean, well-run, efficient restaurant,” Keith said. “As a customer, if you come in here, I need to satisfy you. I want you to come back.”

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