Bernard “Barney” Meyer Wolpert (1893-1964) was born in New York to Max Wolpert (1860-1927) and Bertha Karabelnicko Wolpert (b. 1864), who had immigrated from Russia in 1890. Max Wolpert worked his way up from a peddler to a produce merchant specializing in fish and then fruit. In the mid-1910s, Bernard Wolpert married Kate Kroll (1893-1970). Between 1917 and 1920, Bernard and Kate Wolpert moved to Lake City, South Carolina. Bernard worked as a dry goods merchant while his wife kept house and raised their children. For the next decade, Bernard Wolpert ran a dry goods retail business in Lake City. By 1927, the Wolpert family had relocated to Loris, South Carolina where shortly after Bernard Wolpert opened a department store that his descendants still operate.