THE WARM aroma of garlic bread baking mingles with the spices simmering in the spaghetti sauce, enveloping the cozy space of the cafe. Soft morning light filters through the windows, casting a soft glow over the wait- ing tables. Every detail, meticulously chosen, bears the mark of a deeply cherished memory. Cardinals throughout the room pay tribute to the lifelong bond between a mother and her daughter.
For Ruby Edde, the cafe was only a dream as she waitressed for 15 years for others. The owner of The Caboose in Lynchburg, one of her former employers, recognized her potential and told her she needed her own restaurant. Although she prayed about it, she struggled to find the courage to follow her heart until she attended a women’s conference in Pigeon Forge in 2022. As if talking directly to her, the speaker described her experience of hearing from God and encouraged the attendees who dreamed of opening their own businesses to seek a specific answer in prayer. She had her attention.
Not one to make such a decision without her husband’s agreement, Edde and her husband, Mike, discussed it, and she prayed for direction.
“I think you can lose a lot of blessings by not going with what He tells you because there have been times I felt it but didn’t follow through. I definitely think He was in this. Within two weeks, what I asked for happened. I told my husband, ‘I believe God’s in it.’ So, you know if you get your husband to agree, you know God’s in it,” Edde said.
Her restaurant opened in March 2023 with a noticeable theme.
The brilliantly colored birds honor the memory of her mother, Jessie Dell Price, and the times they shared watching birds outside her mother’s window. Edde and her mom connected with the cardinals that frequented the feeder, and naming the cafe The Redbird was an easy choice.
It may be that her cafe fulfills her mother’s dream as well.
“When I was younger, she opened a little trailer and served breakfast. I think that might have been her dream, but she didn’t really talk about it much. It didn’t last very long, and I was young and don’t remember much about it,” she said. “I think my mom would have been proud of me.”
The cafe connects Edde and her family in ways they might never otherwise experience. In addition to her husband, Edde’s sisters helped get the building ready to open. Her three granddaughters eagerly tie on their aprons and work tirelessly taking care of customers and their orders, and her grandson helps, too. Her daughters and her niece will lend a hand as needed.
Edde said, “I get to spend time with the grandkids every day, making memories.”
Open Tuesday through Saturday, The Redbird offers a variety of soups, sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, and daily plate lunch specials. Irresistible homemade desserts sweeten the day.
“We have a big selection,” she said. “I get a lot of compliments on my Reubens. We do hamburgers and patty melts, taco salads, chicken salad sandwiches, and club sandwiches, and we always have a pulled chicken plate and a pork plate. We do baked beans, salad coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salad, and chips. We cook fresh homemade chocolate pie, pecan pie, and Sundrop cake. We get great compliments on our food. All together, we’ve had nothing but positive [comments].”
Edde now knows firsthand the responsibilities and attention to detail of being a food establishment owner. As involved as it is, she prefers it over working in a factory, something she discovered was never for her.
She said, “When I worked in factories, it was terrible. Working overtime every day, six days a week, people weren’t happy. They were stressed. And factory work is very, very stressful. I need to be with people, I guess. I’m a servant.”
Although there are stressful days, the stress connected to living your dream weighs differently. It confirms the fulfillment of years of dreaming and an answered call.
“It feels good when your dream comes true. It feels good. You know God is in it,” said Edde.
A God-fulfilled dream honoring a mother’s legacy sings a song of hope, welcoming Fayetteville residents to their family table. GN