In the summer of 1948 Jim and Marilyn McKay spotted a closed down grocerette on old Maryland 235 in Hollywood, Jim talked it over with his wife Marilyn and decided to borrow $400.00 from friends in order to open the doors of Mac's Groceries in October of 1948.
Situated on a four corner crossing with a blacksmith, a tavern, a small theater, a general store and a post office, Mac's Grocery was open for business seven days a week with gas pumps. Jim would open the store every day and then report to his full time job as a carpenter and repairman for public works at the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Base, then return to close the store at night. Marilyn typically handled the management aspects of the business with a small staff while raising her family.
By the third rent increase in as many years, with grocery and gas sales reaching around $2,300.00 a week, Jim decided to move the business three miles west on MD route 245 between the communities of Hollywood and Leonardtown and change the name of the store to Fairland Market, which later underwent another name change when the business joined the Food land franchise group.
The small general store and tavern in the first week sold $123.00 in groceries however, within a few years the store was expanded and the tavern converted into a package goods store. In the last weeks of operation the business was turning about $12,000.00 a week in sales. In 1967 the store was relocated to a new and larger store next to the existing store.
In the spring of 1968 Jim and Marilyn McKay opened a second store in Lexington Park across from the Navy base. Shortly after the second store open Jim retired from his Navy job and devoted his full attention to running the stores.
For eight years in the 1970's Jim served in state and local politics while Marilyn ran the business and continued to raise their children. In 1983 a third store opened in Charlotte Hall and expanded in 1989 in order to better meet the needs of its steady customer base.
In 1995, McKay's expanded their operation to include a new 85,000 square foot combination store incorporating a full service supermarket, general merchandise and True Value hardware which replaced the former Lexington Park store.
In 2000 and again in 2007 McKay's expanded with two more locations in the Wildewood shopping plaza in California and Breton Bay shopping center in Leonardtown, Maryland.
During the past 60 years all eight of Jim and Marilyn McKay's children, at one time or another had been involved in the family business. In 1948 Jim and Marilyn had a dream. Today three of their children Cherry, Tommy and David along with over 350 managers and associates are further developing that dream into what we now know as McKay's Fresh Food and Pharmacy.