MOUNT VERNON — Tuesday was Joe Mortellaro Day in Mount Vernon, but the celebration was about more than just one man.
The Newark Road McDonald’s was alive with activity Tuesday to celebrate the store’s 30 anniversary and three decades of Mortellaro’s presence in the business world as well as his charitable contributions.
Opened in 1982, Mortellaro and his wife Krys purchased the Mount Vernon McDonald’s store on Newark Road in 1985 and moved the family here the same year. They opened two additional McDonald’s restaurants in Mount Vernon in 1986 (Coshocton Avenue) and 2003 (North Sandusky) and currently employ in the Mount Vernon stores more than 175 people, including 40 managers. The Mortellaros own 13 restaurants in Central Ohio and employ 600 people and 120 managers as an organization.
Representatives from all 13 stores joined in Tuesday’s celebration and Mount Vernon McDonald’s alumnae, former employees, were also invited to share in the festivities.
The anniversary celebration which took place at the original Mount Vernon location included special deals on sandwiches, a visit from Ronald McDonald, music, school supply giveaway, drawings for prizes and an informational tent manned, in turn, by United Way of Knox County, Mount Vernon Athletic Boosters and MTVarts.
Reese Parks, age 3, and her sister Reagahn Parks, 8, were among the throngs that turned out for the celebration. Their favorite part, said Reagahn, was just coming to McDonald’s to eat with their grandmother, Faith Dulaney. They also enjoyed meeting Ronald McDonald and getting their picture taken with him.
Tuesday was Dulaney’s birthday, but she was also happy to be part of McDonald’s 30th anniversary. A former Newark Road McDonald’s employee, Dulaney was once the Employee of the Month and said McDonald’s is a very good company to work for.
“Since the corporate offices are across the street,” she added, “we got to see a lot of Joe and Krys. They would come over and help at lunch hour when it got so busy.”
Dulaney was also happy about something else — “This is the first time I got to meet Ronald McDonald,” she said. “It’s taken me 30 years.”
Joe Mortellaro started working for McDonald’s at the ripe old age of 16 and hasn’t looked back.
“It’s been a great ride,” he said. “I credit it to the people. I’ve had great people working with me for years. It’s incredible. They’re our family and we try to treat them like family. We have such longevity in our organization. People have been with us 35 years, 30 years. The supervisor and store manager of this restaurant (Newark Road) have been here 30 years. They opened it 30 years ago.”
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