John is the co-founder and Chief Worker Advocate of Boloco, a New England-based restaurant chain founded in 1997 focused on serving globally inspired burritos, bowls and beverages. He is also the founder of Worthee, an early stage software project/platform focused on helping hourly workers receive the information they need to rise and thrive. Pepper also co-founded B.Good which grew to 80 units before he and his partners sold it in 2017.
Pepper has been an angel investor since 2014, with investments in more than 30 start-ups focused on workforce-empowering technology, restaurant-facing technology, and a few consumer business like Athletic Brewing, Spindrift, Free Rain, and Starbird.
For his work on employee advocacy and corporate transparency, Pepper was awarded the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for New England and named one of the Top 24 Executives in the restaurant business by Fast Casual Magazine in 2017. In 2016, Boloco became one of twelve restaurants in the country to achieve Certified B Corp status.
Pepper graduated from Dartmouth College in 1991 and received his MBA from the Tuck School in 1997 (where he presented the first Boloco business plan). He was elected to the Selectboard of the town where he lived for 17 years and was Chairman from 2018-2020. He currently serves on the boards of Positive Tracks in Hanover, NH and Botanica Seattle.
His wife Maggie and their 3 kids live in Hanover, NH.