Amherst community mourns loss of ‘Mama Woodruff’

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — An Amherst County community favorite has passed away. Mary Woodruff was the cherished matriarch of Woodruff’s Café and Pie Shop. The shop was closed on Saturday in remembrance of her.

“She loved being here and she loved her customers,” said Angela Scott, Woodruff’s daughter and owner of the shop. “She would come in and sit and just greet people. They were drawn to her, just a beautiful smile.”

Mary Woodruff, who was also known as Mama Woodruff, lived to be 104 years old. She ran the store for 30 years, then passed it on to Scott. They worked together to run it as a café in the 1990s.

“We just started baking pies just to have some dessert and we had recipes from my mom, my mother-in-law, my aunt was a baker. So we started baking and that’s what took off the pies.”

The shop got plenty of national attention — interviewing with PBS, the TODAY Show, and media outlets like The Washington Post. However, Mama Woodruff’s heart always belonged to her local community.

“Many folks would come by and say, ‘I grew up around here, your mom was always so nice to me,'” Scott said. “One lady would come I and sit most of the day, she didn’t have any family. So she was entertained and she felt like she was home.”

Woodruff gained recognition from near and far, but her proudest accomplishment was putting a smile on the faces of customers who came into the shop.

“Her life was long and very prosperous and filled with just joy because of the customers and all of her friends,” Scott added. “It’s so important that we let them know that she was grateful for that.”

Mama Woodruff’s visitation will be held Sunday, May 16 at the Tree of Life Ministries in Lynchburg at 5 p.m. The funeral will be held on Monday, May 17 in the same location, starting at 2 p.m.

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