In 1903 Annie Johnson was a poor woman with two babes. Her husband left her to go preach and remarry. He took most of the money, leaving her poor.
One early evening Annie, to see if she was ready to fend for her own, put stones in two five-gallon pails, carrying them to the cotton gin. She rested, taking some out while she walked to the cotton mill. When she headed back she dumped the rest on the path.
She woke up at early hours, getting to work on boiling chicken and frying ham. She made dough and filled rolled-out pastries with meat
The next day she brought the things from the previous night to the cotton gin, setting up a small concession stand for the workers. When the bell rang, she started her pies, attracting the workers towards her food.
Afterwords, she used the remaining pies to sell at the Cotton mill. The next day she would take the new pies to the cotton mill and take the leftovers to the Cotton gin.
A few years later Annie was able to open her own little shop between the two work places. Instead of going to them, they came to her. Not only that, the range of items she sold increased by candy, soles, syrup, soft drinks, canned goods, and more!