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!
6350 Frederick Road
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by David Sinclair