A cigar store manager, Jack saw the end of Prohibition as an opportunity to expand from cigars into spirits. His employer disagreed, however, and Jack went into business for himself. His original store, Jack’s Friendly Neighborhood Bar, was located in downtown Orlando at the corner of North Orange Avenue and Wall Street.
Nearly 15 years later, his little bar had become something much bigger and in 1950, ABC Liquors was born. Known today as ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, it’s the nation’s largest privately-owned wine and spirits retailer.
In the early 1980s, Jack struck up a friendship with another of the community’s leaders–Dr. Trevor Colbourn, UCF’s second president. Jack and Trevor shared a passion for education and helping young people.
In 1986, Jack established one of the first endowed scholarships in the university’s history. The donation was also one of the first in Florida to be eligible for a state match. Since then, the ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Endowed Scholarship has awarded nearly 100 scholarships. Mr. Holloway himself was one of the university’s first donors, making his initial contribution in 1972.
Anthony Thompson, ’81 recalls meeting Mr. Holloway at a scholarship event in 1983 while he was a graduate student. “What struck me the most about Mr. Holloway was his genuine interest in me and the other students. He took a real interest in what I was studying and what my experiences as a student were like. I hadn’t met him prior to that, but I certainly knew how successful his business was. It was very impressive that someone in his position would be so interested in students.”
In the fall of 1988, Jack and Trevor met onstage during a UCF commencement ceremony. Dr. Colbourn conferred upon Mr. Holloway the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service. The program that day read: “A business acumen accumulated over more than five decades in Orlando is evidenced by Jack Holloway’s success as president of ABC Liquors, Inc. His regard for the University of Central Florida is evidenced by the generous support he has provided over the years. His volunteer service within the community covers a wide spectrum, from his church to cultural activities to health-related agencies.”
The Jack D. Holloway Endowed Scholarship was established in 1993 by his family and friends. The fund is a tribute to, and continuation of, the humanitarian and philanthropic values exemplified by Mr. Holloway’s life. Nearly 60 students have benefitted from the establishment of the fund.
Charles E. Bailes III, CEO of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, has continued the legacy his grandfather started. “My grandfather always encouraged us to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Charles. “We’re very fortunate to be in a position where we can give back and do just that. We encourage all of our employees to find something to get involved with and give back. It’s the right thing to do.”