For 30 years James and Mary Fannie Woodruff operated a country store in Amherst County. Downstairs served as a community gathering place with a wood stove, chairs and benches. Upstairs was the Woodruff home. Out front were fuel pumps where Mary Fannie dispensed gas, in between taking care of store sales and raising her five biological children as well as several foster children. The Woodruffs closed the store in 1983. They were married for 63 years until James’ death in 1998.
And it was also in 1998 that their youngest daughter, Angela Scott, had the inspiration to reopen the place as Woodruff’s Pies, which features a small indoor dining area. Her sisters, twins Darnell Winston and Darnett Hill, also work in the shop. Mary Fannie, who celebrated her 103rd birthday in 2019, still “holds court” every day at the back table where she greets customers and tells stories.
When Angela first opened Woodruff’s Pies she sold sandwiches and a few desserts. Now, there are additional items on the menu (see inside) and a wide variety of pies. The type of pies vary by season and availability of ingredients and are sold by the slice and by the whole pie.
When the sign outside was hit by a car and a new sign installed, Angela asked that “Café” be written in small letters and “Pie Shop” in big letters because “making pies is what I really want to do.” After that the store became known as “the pie shop,’ and that’s what people call it” she said.