Handy Mart Company History
Handy Mart convenience stores is a division of E.J. Pope & Son, Inc. Locally owned and operated in eastern North Carolina, we have a long, rich heritage of providing quality products and fuel services to the communities we serve.
E.J. Pope & Son, Inc. is a third generation, family-owned company founded in 1919 in Mount Olive, NC as a coal hauling business known as E.J. Pope Coal Company. The hauling was done by horse-drawn wagon from the train to the coal yard. In the early thirties, the company hauled brick, stone and other supplies from the train to the construction site.
Home heating oil was added to the business, and the company became E.J. Pope Coal & Oil Company.
In 1957, E.J. Pope, Jr., purchased the business from his father, signed a contract with a major petroleum company and entered into the gasoline business. The company was rapidly growing and changing. In 1960, the home heating oil segment enlarged with the purchase of an oil business and the incorporation of the company.
1975 marked the opening of the company’s first convenience store in Mt. Olive, under the trade name of Handy Mart. Since then, store operations have grown into a highly recognized chain of convenience stores serving customers across eastern North Carolina, providing safe and convenient neighborhood stores that provide outstanding customer service, high quality fuel and products at a fair price.
Our first national franchise brand Subway was opened in November 1994. This Subway, along with eight others, remains today.
We are constantly updating existing locations to meet the future needs, including state of the art store designs, equipment and modern food concepts, such as Subway, Pizza Inn Express and our own proprietary Farmhouse Grill.
In addition, we are committed to acquisitions and construction of new Handy Mart sites. Our corporate vision is to be “Easy to do Business With” for both internal and external customers. With this attitude, the goal of Handy Mart is to provide our customers with exceptional customer service.