Day 278: Woodruff’s Cafe & Pie Shop

Woodruff’s Cafe & Pie Shop: It’s hard to beat freshly baked pies – especially with a case full of choices! 

Pies © Paul H. Byerly

It started sixty-five years ago as a place for local kids to get out of the rain while they waited for the school bus on Hwy 130 in Monroe VA. But James Earl Woodruff thought it could be more. James and his wife Mary Fannie started the general store in 1952. 

Woodruff's Cafe & Pie Shop © Paul H. Byerly

The family has long solid Christian roots, and they have always been about helping others. Building a bus stop was one expression of this. The family also sheltered abused wives and provided groceries for those who could not pay.

Family Pictures © Paul H. Byerly

The pies came later. And oh what wonderful pies!

Mary back in the day © Paul H. Byerly

The store was closed in 1982. Then in 1998 Angela Scott, one of the couple’s twin girls, reopened it as a home-cooked deli and bakery. It was tough going at first, but then the September 2013 issue of Southern Living declared the shop’s apple pie “the best pie ever.” Today people drive from all over to this pie shop in the middle of nowhere.

 You can get a whole pie to go, but it’s must better to get a slice and have a seat at Mary Woodruff’s. At 99½ years young, Mary doesn’t bake anymore, but she has clear memories of the past and she tells wonderful stories. If she learns you’re from a long way away, she will ask you to sign her guestbook. Being from Washington State we were asked to sign – right below a recent visitor from Australia.

Mary at 99.5 years © Paul H. Byerly

Thanks, Steve and Ellen for introducing us to a wonderful bit of local culture/history! 

Image Credits: © Paul H. Byerly

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