Ray Kroc was an entrepreneur who turned McDonald’s into the fast-food industry powerhouse that it is today. His ranch in Santa Ynez Valley, California, is now on the market, listed for $29 million. The estate sits on a massive 554 acres, and it boasts a number of different residences and recreational amenities, including barns, bunkhouses, corrals, a conference hall, and a main lodge.
Born in 1902, Kroc worked his way through various jobs, as many did in the early 20th century. For many years, he worked as a salesman for various products, but it wasn’t until a restaurant visit in 1954 that he saw an opportunity to create a restaurant system specifically to provide consistently high-quality food with uniform preparation.
This visit was to a restaurant that had purchased a product he was selling, and it was one of the first to prioritize focus on just a few items that would allow more efficient quality and quick service.
Kroc had what was, at the time, a unique philosophy that included both franchisees and suppliers. As we know, his method was effective, and within four years, McDonald’s had sold its 100 millionth hamburger.
His ranch, the J & R Double Arch Ranch, is home to a little bit of everything. The main lodge alone is 17,000 square feet and features 20 bedrooms and a 100-guest dining room. Its large kitchen is set to entertain and provide for guests to lounge in the 3,000-square-foot living room.
The nearby Founder’s Building offers even more. While it only has two bedrooms, it is home to a private library, a full gym, and several offices. The design style trends towards rustic, with high ceilings, thick wood beams and carved pillars, and modern fireplaces that bring a touch of a mountain lodge feel without overwhelming the Southern Californian climate just outside the sprawling windows. The warm, wood-paneled walls are inlaid with various murals and decor, adding even more character.
The grounds include a beautiful oval pool, a pond with mosaic stones, and several landscaped garden spaces, with views out over the ranch and the surrounding hills. The main lodge sits tucked into greener vegetation, with tall windows that let in soft filtered light to complement walls of stone reaching to the high beamed ceiling in the living spaces. The open concept lends itself well to multiple living rooms, dotted in between with space for lounging, game tables, pool tables, and card and board games.
This lodge also features a commercial kitchen with functional cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. The accompanying dining room features numerous chandeliers and spacious hardwood flooring, with seating available for up to 100 people. Here, you’ll find a second, large pool and several other recreational spaces, including a sand volleyball court, professional tennis court, and a fishing pond.
The 554-acre ranch, which sits in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, also includes five single residences, two bunkhouses. Kroc first purchased it in the late 1960s, and it is now on the market for $29 million.
Jon Dykstra owns an interior design company in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He's fascinated by architecture and interiors. He also enjoys gardening at his "house in the burbs" and "homesteading" at his off-the-grid boat-access cabin.
Combine all that with a love of writing and Homestratsophere.com was born. He balances his working time between running his interior design company, working on his off-the-grid cabin and publishing homestratosphere.com.