Hometown Eats: Woodruff’s Pie Shop

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:58 PM EDT
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MONROE, Va. (WDBJ) -The best places usually require a little drive out to the country. Especially when they serve what Southern Living Magazine called the “best apple pie ever.” We’re checking out Woodruff’s Pie Shop in this week’s Hometown Eats!

“Everybody loved the pie, so we kept making more and more. That’s what took off,” said Woodruff’s Pie Shop owner Angela Scott, also known as Angie.

Just north of Lynchburg, out in Amherst County there’s a feeling you start to get on Route 130 that can only be described as divine, and it will lead you to Woodruff’s Pies.

“I reopened what I thought was going to be the grocery store and here we are 25 years later,” said Scott.

But this story begins in 1865 with Angie’s great grandfather Wyatt Woodruff, a freed slave, who set up his blacksmithing shop right across the street.

“We have a shovel that he made and some horseshoes that we found,” said Scott.

Her parents, James and Mary Fannie, built and opened a country store in 1952. They lived upstairs and raised two boys, twin girls Darnelle and Darnette, and the youngest, Angie.

“It was like home to us and it’s still home,” said Scott.

That store closed in ‘83 but Angie had that feeling and she reopened in August 1998 under the name Woodruff’s Pies, but a month later, her father passed away.

As she had done for 63 years, Momma Woodruff was the rock for her kids to lean on.

“She just entertained everybody, that was her thing,” said Scott.

Momma held court in the front, Angie used her food service experience in the back making sandwiches and salads, but they needed something sweet.

“So that’s when I started baking pie. It’s a miracle to me that it actually happened. I had no experience baking,” joked Scott.

The first few years were tough, but Angie said Momma wouldn’t let her give up.

“She kept saying, ‘Angie you gotta have faith. It’s going to be ok’ and she was right,” said Scott.

Southern Living Magazine once wrote an article calling Scott’s apple pie the “best apple pie ever” and Tasting Table ranked the Coconut Custard pie as the best pie in the state of Virginia.

Ultimately, Momma knew best and she was a fixture at the shop sitting in the corner ready for a conversation with whoever walked through the door, including Al Roker.

“He went over to talk to Momma and by that time there was a little dementia going on, so we asked if we needed to help and he said he had it and I said ok you’re in for it, so she asked him if he was a preacher,” joked Scott.

Roker’s story aired in February 2020, right before everything shut down.

“That was absolutely the Lord. We had so much publicity from that, and folks were coming to get their pies curbside,” said Scott.

And when they look this good, people will come from far and wide.

“We put everything we have into those pies,” said Scott.

On this trip I tried the Dutch Apple and Key Lime pies but there are more than a dozen to choose from. However, you might want to call ahead to make sure they’re in stock or place an order ahead of time.

“The pies are extraordinary, and the company is beyond reproach. It’s just marvelous to be here,” said Rosemary who has been a regular customer since they opened in 1998.

“It’s important to me that we show love when folks come in, but they can also taste it,” said Scott.

In the summer they offer a cold plate with homemade chicken salad, egg salad, and pimento cheese. Then in the winter it’s homemade soups with corn bread.

“This is real country. This is real Amherst County people, real Amherst County pie, and real Amherst County experience,” said Rosemary.

This pie shop could be mistaken for a museum with so many stories which you can read about in a book appropriately titled, A Little Slice of Heaven.

Then on May 11, 2021, 104-year-old Momma Woodruff was called home.

“We didn’t realize the impact she had on people until she passed away. We just feel like mom’s presence because she had been here for so long,” said Scott.

And even after 25 years, Angie and the family count each day as a blessing to serve.

“I think about my family and my great grandfather who was a slave and just what he would think about this right now and my parents who loved on people and I want to do that same thing. We try to share the love of Christ with people who walk in,” said an emotional Scott.

Woodruff’s Pies, a hometown eat over 150 years in the making.

Woodruff’s Pie Shop is open Wednesday through Saturday 10am-4pm and is located at 3297 Elon Rd, Monroe, VA 24574.