Family History

First Generation

The Vineyard family story cannot be told without sharing our history with McDonald’s.  Philip and Vernon Vineyard of Chicago, Illinois, were accountants by trade, until a close friend and erstwhile entrepreneur, Ray Kroc, approached them with the opportunity of a lifetime.  Ray had acquired the rights to a drive-up, fast food hamburger restaurant known as “McDonald’s.” He needed investors, so Ray proposed in 1956 that the Vineyard brothers open McDonald’s restaurants in northern Chicago and Central Florida.  Philip took Chicago, and Vern chose Florida, but in the end, Florida provided the better opportunity.  In 1966, Philip turned down an opportunity to take over Beatrice Foods and moved his family to St.  Petersburg, Florida, where he joined Vern in the operation of 33 McDonald’s restaurants spanning an area from St.  Petersburg to Venice, to Lakeland and Winter Haven, and Daytona and West Palm Beaches.

Second Generation

Philip and his wife, Mary Lou, had two children, Bruce and Cheryl.  Vern and his wife, Janet, also had two children, Philip (“Flip”) and Helen Jo.  The children helped their fathers with the restaurants at a young age, with Bruce, Flip, and Cheryl spending their teenage years at McDonald’s, and Flip later hiring his sister, Helen Jo, as a business consultant.

Bruce, who is the Foundation’s principal benefactor, became an assistant manager and graduate of Hamburger University at just 22 years of age.  At 25, he was the supervisor of restaurants in Daytona Beach, Lakeland, and Winter Haven, and just two years later, became Assistant Director of Operations for the entire Vineyard organization.  In 1971, Bruce was promoted to Executive Vice President.

In 1973, the Vineyard family merged its organization’s restaurants with McDonald’s Corporation.  At the personal request of Fred Turner, McDonald’s then-CEO and future Chairman, Bruce joined McDonald’s Corporation as a field consultant, working with new owner-operators throughout Central Florida.  A year later, again at the behest of McDonald’s Corporation, Bruce purchased his first franchise restaurant in Conyers, Georgia, and with his wife, Susan, grew the operation to over twenty restaurants in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

In 2020, after 64 years with McDonald’s, Bruce retired, handing the reins of the business to his children. Through his and the original Vineyard organization’s tutelage, nearly twenty McDonald’s corporate executives and first-generation owner-operators were groomed and mentored for the business.

The Vineyard Family Foundation
Bruce P. Vineyard, Jr. and Lynn Vineyard Miller.
Philip W. Vineyard, II and Bruce P. Vineyard, Sr.

Third Generation

Bruce and Susan had three children, Lynn, Philip, and Bruce, Jr., and each of them discovered at a young age that work was not only expected, but also their contribution to the family’s success. In their pre-teen years, each child learned the McDonald’s work ethic, spending their weekends and summers taking orders, cleaning the lobby, stocking the prep line, and making McDonald’s famous shakes.  As they grew older, the children learned to run the restaurants, becoming managers in their teenage years.

Yet, despite lengthy work schedules, Bruce and Susan demanded their kids excel in school, both academically and in their extracurricular activities.  All three graduated in the top of their respective high school classes, received Bachelor’s Degrees from Florida State University (“FSU”), and went onto graduate degrees in accounting (Lynn, FSU), law (Philip, Tulane University), and education administration (Bruce Jr., University of Georgia).  Athletically, Lynn excelled in diving, tennis, softball, and gymnastics; Philip in soccer, volleyball, golf, and swimming; and Bruce in soccer, golf, and track.  All paled in comparison to their father who, among his many athletic achievements, held the City of Chicago’s high school broad jump record for numerous years.

After a short time in their graduate professions, Lynn and Bruce, Jr. found themselves back in the family’s restaurants, thereafter becoming third generation owner-operators for McDonald’s Corporation.  With a reorganization following Bruce, Sr.’s retirement, Lynn and Bruce, Jr. now operate twenty-seven McDonald’s restaurants in the Atlanta metropolitan area, with several more on the horizon.  Philip, having stuck with the legal profession, now serves as the family's attorney, advising his siblings on matters of employment and corporate law and general liability.

Community Involvement

Pursuant to Ray Kroc's and Fred Turner's vision, McDonald's emphasized that their owner-operators be engaged in their communities.  This was an edict taken to heart by the first patriarchs of the Vineyard family.  Philip joined the Board of All Children’s Hospital (currently, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital) in St.  Petersburg, while Vern joined the Board of Goodwill Industries of St.  Petersburg.  Both were members of the Rotary, and both contributed to the construction of the first Ronald McDonald House in St.  Petersburg.

Bruce, Sr. followed in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps.  Focusing on the health and well-being of children, Bruce joined his local Rotary and gave more than $3.75 million to various charities throughout his career, including the Ronald McDonald Houses of St.  Petersburg, Atlanta, and Jacksonville; the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta; Southern Heartland Arts, Inc.; and youth recreation leagues throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.  His charitable bent is shared by his first wife, Susan, and current wife, Galia, both of whom volunteer their time and money to various charitable organizations in the metro Atlanta area.

Bruce's children learned the lesson as well.  Each financially supports one or more of the following: The Vineyard Family Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, pediatric hospitals, autism-related organizations, youth sports organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs, and educational and cultural institutions throughout Florida and Georgia.  From 2017 through 2023, Philip W. Vineyard II served on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville and served as its Chairman in 2021 and 2022.  All three children currently serve as trustees and officers for The Vineyard Family Foundation and have pledged to continue the vital charitable work started by their parents and grandparents.

Our Core Values

Integrity, Passion, and Good Will.