Our Blog RSS

The latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state. 

Rhode Island Foundation Blog


We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.

Laurans Family Fund
By Jean Cohoon / April 9, 2019 /   Loading Disqus...

Scott Laurans took a struggling family business and built it into a $500 million food distribution empire. What he is probably best known for among Rhode Islanders, though, is one grocery store he owned and operated for more than 30 years, Eastside Marketplace.

“I loved retail more than wholesale and had fun making a supermarket that was different from other stores,” Scott says, noting that Eastside Marketplace was a leader in offering a full U.S. Post Office, a full florist, and high-quality prepared, specialty, and organic foods. “It was more of an avocation while I partnered in the Providence Group Investment Advisory Company,” he continues.

“Eastside was successful due to a great group of employees,” Scott says of the business he sold in 2014. “All good things come to an end, some unfortunately, but it was time,” he laments.

Born and raised in New Bedford, Scott earned a degree in economics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. His wife, Monica, a naturalized citizen who came to the States in the early 50’s from Germany as a young child, earned an undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College and later a master’s degree in French and linguistics from Georgetown University.

“Monica is very, very proud of her American citizenship,” Scott states, adding, “Monica was brought up to highly value education and has worked as an interpreter, translator, and educator.” Now retired, she earlier taught at Moses Brown School, Lincoln School, and Providence College.

Active community members, Monica served on the boards of Trinity Repertory Company and Bryant University; Scott’s numerous boards include a 25-year tenure at Rhode Island Hospital during which he served as chairman, on the finance committee, and was instrumental in the construction of Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the establishment of Lifespan where he served as chair.

“We believe strongly in giving back to the community and will continue to focus our giving on education and healthcare,” Scott explains. “I’ve always been impressed with the Foundation, the quality of people on the board, the investment results, and the longevity of staff, which demonstrates to me a culture committed to the Foundation’s mission.”

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Making science come alive Posted 11 months ago
    Thanks to our Carter Spark Grant, Narragansett Elementary School students just learned a lot about life around Narragansett Bay. Special education teacher Karen Festa used the grant to bring Save the Bay’s living “Bay Classroom Experience” to school.
  • Roger Williams' ideals come to life in scholarship recipients Posted 12 months ago
    The Rhode Island Foundation is sending seven high school seniors off to college with scholarships honoring Roger Williams, the state’s founding father.The four-year, renewable scholarships are through the Carter Roger Williams Initiative, which was launched last year by philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Carter fellowships inspire innovation Posted last year
    The recipients will receive $200,000 over four years to test and implement their proposals to dramatically improve life in Rhode Island thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Grants will improve health of RI'ers Posted last year
    Our RIGHA Foundation Fund awards more than $280,000 in grants to promote primary health care.
  • Introducing moves to fuel growth and expansion Posted last year
    We are launching a new grantmaking opportunity, refining our strategic priorities, adopting impact targets and adding new staff positions to support work with partners, donors, nonprofits and community leaders.
Read More »


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

E-News Sign Up