“Self-reliance, self-confidence, and integrity are the keys to success. Endurance is also critical, and the responsibility for success lies on the shoulders of the individual,” said the late entrepreneur and philanthropist John William Pope.

John William Pope inherently understood those values.  He entered the family business running his father’s five discount-variety stores after World War II.  With ‘American dream’ ambition, he built those holdings into Variety Wholesalers Inc. — the parent company of Roses and Maxway stores (among others), serving hundreds of communities and providing employment for thousands. The success of Variety Wholesalers enabled the Pope family to create the Pope Foundation in 1986.

With the goal to improve the wellbeing of North Carolinians, the John William Pope Foundation makes grants to support public policy groups, educational institutions, humanitarian efforts, and the arts.  The Foundation’s mission is to ensure future generations have the same opportunities as John William Pope: the freedom to live, work, pursue individual interests, sustain family, and prosper.

From its first grant in 1986 to the present, the Foundation’s giving has totaled over $100 million, primarily to charities and organizations in North Carolina.  John William Pope’s son, Art, shares his father’s passion for our free-market system. Art (www.artpope.com) is the current Chairman of the Foundation.