Photo from Roy Pope Grocery Facebook page
Roy Pope Grocery turns 75 on Saturday. That’s a lot of candles for the tiny neighborhood grocery store that has been a Fort Worth favorite for generations.
The grocery store has a very clear provenance. Founded by Roy Pope in 1943, it was family owned until Pope’s death in 1967. Roy Pope Grocery then passed to John LeMond, who had worked in the store’s produce and grocery departments for 20 years.
At LeMond’s retirement in 1990, ownership passed to another long-time employee, Bob Larance, who was the store manager for 15 years from 1975 to 1990. Larance maintains the same dedication to customer satisfaction today.
Even though the competition has dwarfed Roy Pope in both size and selection, their loyal customers find just what they need.
“Size has its limitations. But, our size also has its convenience. Our customers don’t need 20 brands of olive oil to choose from, and they don’t need to walk back and forth across a vast box store to find what they came in for,” Larance says.
It helps to know many of your regular customers by name, and Larance is a stickler for great customer service. He doesn’t like lines; that’s why if there is more than one person waiting in line, the store will just open another register.
Roy Pope Grocery was one of the first stores in town to carry imported items, and those were added based on specific requests from customers. For many decades it was the only place to find some imported goods. “If we don’t carry an item you need, just let us know. We’ll order it and call you when it comes in,” Larance says. “We built our business on giving people what they want.”