A woman in Monroe, Virginia, is not letting age stop her from helping run the business she started with her husband nearly 70 years ago.
In 1952, Mary Woodruff and her beloved husband, James, built Woodruff’s Café & Pie Shop and lived together in the apartment upstairs, according to WCRBTV.
“We were happy. We were just getting ready to do something together. And we did. And I’ve been blessed,” said Woodruff, who is now 103 years old.
However, after the shop closed down in 1982, Woodruff’s daughter, Angela Scott, felt a calling to keep her family’s tradition alive.
When she and her husband reopened the café in 1998, they experienced some difficulty attracting customers and mostly sold sandwiches.
“It was off the beaten path. It had been closed for so many years. There were days that we didn’t have a customer, maybe one or two,” she recalled, adding that her mother urged her not to give up.
“But Mama just kept going, ‘Angie, you gotta have faith, it’s gonna be fine.’ I think if it hadn’t been for her, I probably would’ve closed,” she said.
When the café’s sign was hit by a car, Scott had the words “Pie Shop” rewritten in big letters so it could be seen from the road, according to their website.
“As soon as we put the Pie Shop (sign) out there, that’s when people started stopping,” she said.
In a Facebook post February 3, the owners expressed how proud they were of the successful business.
The post read:
We are so thankful that God has blessed our family down through the years, from the18th century blacksmith shop to the Pie Shop we have today. My great grandfather, Wyatt Woodruff, a freed slave who owned the blacksmiths [sic] shop, would be so proud today! We are so grateful to carry on his legacy!
Scott, who runs the café with her mother and two sisters, Darnelle and Darnette, said she remembers spending her early years at the shop.
“My mom had a little playpen and she’d keep me in here while she was running the business,” she explained.
Now, she said the building has become more to her than just a way to make money.
“I just really do think it was a God thing. It was the legacy that I wanted to carry on. This is what I’m supposed to do,” she concluded.