7-11: We Are Always Open (even during the blizzard)

Example

Joe and Pamela Chilcoat are owners of our Paradise 7-11. Franchised on September 20, 1976, the Chilcoat’s Paradise location was the first of now four locations operated by the couple.

Raised in Timonium, Joe Chilcoat was educated in Baltimore County Public Schools and then Frostburg State where both he and his wife graduated. Joe worked in 7-11s throughout high school and college beginning in 1969. Today, at work, Joe strictly deals with personnel and still works shifts covering for his employees. His employee tracking system (in an elementary school attendance format) dates back to 1988. “I keep score at the ball game” he says with a smile. Chilcoat’s coded staff sheets prove to be a very efficient way to manage his staff. His wife Pamela does the rest of the paperwork, research and merchandising. Together, they help balance the workload that can easily overflow into their personal lives.

Chilcoat remarks Paradise and Catonsville as stable areas – good for raising kids. The people, the area, the schools “there lot of reasons they call it Paradise”. The Chilcoats were able to raise three daughters thanks to their entrepreneurships. One of Joe’s goals was to work were they live, they have always been residents within the community – from Nunnery, to Enjay, and now residing outside the beltway near the Library.

Joe describes the staples of his business as “The 3 C’s – candy, cigarettes, and coffee. Coffee is huge for us. It’s where our bread is buttered.” Today 7-11 is going in the direction of fast food – hot dogs and fountain sodas, and “fill in” groceries – fresh sandwiches, donuts, milk are delivered daily. Recently, the movie vendor Red Box struck a deal with 7-11, and it has proven to improve foot traffic in addition to the interior ATM machine.

Business is good. Paradise has his best crew and the location ranks as his third highest in volume. There were some tight times last year, but they aren’t as susceptible to economic fluctuations as many other businesses. Fortunately, they were able to keep all their staff consisting of 12-15 core members, many of which live within the community. This proved advantageous during the blizzard, which Chilcoat described as challenging. Gratefully, they were able to take advantage of many of the employees who could walk to work. The shelves stayed full for the most part; milk and bread proved the most difficult to keep in stock.

Over the years the Chilcoat’s have been able to establish family connections where a parent employee has often led to a child working for the store. PCA’s own Joe and Nick Palozzi are one of seven family groups where both a parent and child have at one time worked for Chilcoats. It’s a testament a stable employer who even offers a health program.

Some of Chilcoat’s Paradise observations since 1976 – the Streetscape in the late 80’s was an excellent improvement which cleaned up storefronts and covered the street car tracks that slowed traffic. The installation of the cement island helped protect parked cars from oncoming traffic and the street light at Paradise Avenue helped improve access to his business and the safety of the public. The bus stop has improved dramatically over the years. The previous site with unkempt grass, trash, and pealing paint was an eye soar and presently is much improved. Today, the town center is overall better, cleaner, and more vibrant.

Customer initiated crime has decreased dramatically since first opening the shop in 1976 thanks to 7-11’s robbery prevention methods and police support. The BCPD has always been very responsive and corporative, and today the 7-11 continues to act as sub-station of the BCPD. Though receptive, Joe would like a little more presence and greater visibility for our community as a gateway for the city. He’d also like the new Cops to take advantage of the “sub-station” and aid in establishing a larger presence for the business & the residents.

Regarding other businesses in Paradise, He’d hate to have to do without Fergusson’s hardware “it’s a real convenience for us”. Ron Young, owner of Fergusson’s, is a regular patron of 7-11 and may be the only business today with a longer run in Paradise than Chilcoat.

The Chilcoat’s believe in supporting local community organizations and have participated in countless fundraisers throughout the years. Presently, they are taking donations for the Paradise-based Believe in Tomorrow Childeren’s Foundation (6601 Frederick Rd.) who helps families stay together in the midst of a medical crisis.

Joe enjoys his work and the days fly by. “After all these years, I still can’t wait to get to work in morning.” Asked how many cups of coffee he drinks a day, Chicoat responds “Well … One.” One bottomless cup!

7-11
6350 Frederick Road
Hours: 24-7-365
(410) 788-3094

Please click here for an extended photo gallery.

by David Sinclair

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2 Comments

Filed under Focus on Business

2 responses to “7-11: We Are Always Open (even during the blizzard)

  1. Crystal Dennis

    Oh, by the way Joe, I hear you are a great guy to work for, and you do not allow your employees to treat your customers unprofessionally. It was mainly the attitude, not so much as her not playing the numbers.

    Crystal Dennis

    p.s I was going to make a special trip over there to speak with Tina about this young lady’s attitude, but I felt you needed to know as well.

    Thanks again for your time.

  2. Crystal Dennis

    Hello, my name is Crystal Dennis. On Thursday 06/17/2010 at approx.1pm I was in your store, first as a customer, then I proceeded to make my way to the lottery line. Well, there was a young lady there by the name of Brittany, and she blatenly refused to play my numbers. Brittany stated to me that the numbers had to be on cards. I’ve never experienced using the cards, so I was unfamiliar with that process. Also usually when I come into the store, Tina is there, and she’s very pleasant and customer service oriented. Tina has/had no problem playing my number from my sheet of paper, and I attempted to relay this information to the young lady, but she was very adament, nasty, and unprofessional about not entering my numbers into the lottery machine. Brittany waited on approxiamately 28 people before I decided to ask her again, “are you going to play my numbers now?” There was no long line that would have taken any business from your corporation, but again, Brittany refused to play my numbers. I stood at the corner of the counter for 30 minutes, with Brittany never even acknowledging my presence. Brittany made me feel like I was bothering her, and to key my numbers during a 5-10 interval when there were no customers was a problem for her, and she refused to key my numbers.

    I feel that Brittany should be reprimanded for this action because of her unprofessionlism and her lack of customer Service skills. If she did not know how to enter the numbers from the paper I had, that’s all she had to say, but to allow me to stand there for 30 minutes totally ignoring me is just unacceptable. Brittany needs further customer Service training, and I would like a personal apology from her for her actions. I do plan to take a copy of this letter to Tina tomorrow morning 06/18/2010. This is quite some distance from my home, but since I was dropping off a friend, I decided to stop in to play my evening numbers because Tina is always pleasant and courteous to me, and had never once complained about the numbers not being on those cards.

    Actually, I was only able to obtain your name and business address from the lottery lady up the street in the package goods store. She informed me that she had encountered an unpleasant experience with one of the clerks at your store as well. I’m just assuming it has to be Brittany because everyone there I come across is pleasant and very helpful.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon in this matter. I can be reached at 443-927-5756 any time.

    Thank you for taking the time review my concern/ issue. This was not a pleasant visit. And no I did not have to stand there for thirty minutes, I just wanted to see how long Brittany would allow me to stand there without being acknowledged. All this confustion because Brittany does not know how to work the Lottery machine effectively and efficiently. ( I noticed in the beginning,when Brittany did make an attempt to key the numbers, she was making a lot of mistakes, so that’s when she became frustrated with the whole lottery scene)At that point, I was just standing there is a wait zone. She didn’t even aplogize for allowing me to wait that long when I did decide to leave.
    So I decided to write the Business Owner, and let you know the type of employee you have working in your store.

    Sincerely,

    Crystal Dennis
    443-927-5756

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