This Beautiful Inheritance: For the Ciminos, McDonald's is a Family Business

Monday, June 29, 2015

For the Ciminos, McDonald's is a Family Business

The FTC requires me to tell you that I am a brand ambassador for McDonald's of Central Arkansas. But mainly, I talk about McDonald's because I (and my kids) love the place.

"A lot of folks think we're a machine," local McDonald's owner Louis Cimino said about his company. "We're really not a 'hit the button and a hamburger comes out' business. The folks that work behind the counter are people."

He should know. Louis started working at the McDonald's his father owned when he was 13 years old, in hopes of buying a pair of Air Jordan tennis shoes. His dad, Sam Cimino, bought his first McDonald's in Hollywood, Florida in 1985 after flipping burgers as a crew member for 22 years. Both Sam and Louis found their wives working alongside them in McDonalds' too. Louis and his wife Jennifer were married in 1997.

Louis, his wife Jennifer, and their two children
For the Ciminos, McDonald's is and has always been a family business. In 2004 the whole family packed up and moved to Arkansas to purchase six new stores and grow the family business. After selling three stores along the way, the Ciminos currently own three in central Arkansas. Louis runs most of the stores' day to day operations, while his father and sister run the office.

Yet McDonald's is not what Louis Cimino is known for. In fact, few people even know it's a part of his life. His "public job" is a captain with the Cabot Fire Department, which is more than full-time by itself.

"It's a way to give back," Louis says about firefighting on top of everything else he does. He's a person who loves to keep busy, which he said everyone does. "I'm just doing it in many different areas."

Louis and his wife also sell Advocare, a line of physical wellness supplements, and Louis offers nutritional advice and coaching to his clients. And when he's not selling Advocare, working at McDonald's or on shift at the fire station -- he's running. In the last six years, Louis has run an outstanding 32 marathons, 28 half-marathons, a half iron man, and many triathlons.

Louis Cimino wears many hats
Louis said he hopes to debunk the myth that you can't be a healthy person and love McDonald's. "I tell them it's all about the choices you make," he said. "The bottom line to being healthy is 80% what you eat, but you have to be active. It's making good, better, and best choices. I enjoy eating the Big Mac but I don't eat the Big Mac every day. The [McDonald's] menu is very diverse. You can get well rounded meals."

Louis is proof that that is true. And his family is proof that there's more behind your burger than a pushed button and a conveyer belt. There are real people with real stories and real American dreams. The Ciminos are just one example of how McDonald's has helped people achieve theirs.

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