Wallace Ann Austin is a business owner. One of the first black businesses owners in Stafford county. She opened her first business in 1987 while working with the government as a forklift operator. But she was not one to like being told what to do. “I always wanted to work for myself.” Austin says, “And I thought that if I can do and work for others, I could do even better for me.”
She had several businesses since that Thrift shop in 1987. But she found her biggest success when she opened a small “whole in the wall” restaurant called “Three sisters”. “That’s the restaurant that put us on the map,” Austin Recalls, “We had Lorton (VA) right there, and all of the folks from the barbershops and other things would come to eat there.”
Three sisters restaurant served her family owned business for fourteen years. But soon Ms. Anne suffered a stroke. She was unable to continue and her restaurant had been sold. Once she felt well enough, Austin took it upon herself to re-open her restaurant without telling the rest of her family. “I was tired of being in the house,” Austin says of her recovery. Her new restaurant was popular as ever, but there wasn’t much room to spear. “It was real small.”
Her son spotted the place in Stafford 14 years ago. They needed more space for her customers, so Austin and her family went south, rented the little white house, and rescued the place from ruin. “It was a mess,” she says. But she pulled through and opened Ann’s Wings and Things right off of Route 1.
She blurs in the kitchen with blazing speed as she recounts the hopes for the people around her. That youth learn to be entrepreneurial. That we all lend a helping hand to those in need. “Just take a moment, and reach out to help someone.”