Family brings first soul food carry out and only beauty supply store to Bedford

Amanda M. Rye

BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) – A new family-owned business in Bedford is taking two unique passions and bringing them together as the perfect recipe for success.

”It’s just like a dream come true,” Barbara Mays said standing in a room full of wigs and hair extensions.

This dream is located behind the AutoZone and Little Caesar’s Pizza in Bedford, right off the Lynchburg Salem Turnpike.

But Mays didn’t think her 10-year-old dream to own a hair supply shop would also include a carry-out restaurant.

“No, I didn’t envision a cafeteria or carry-out but it all worked out,” she laughed.

The idea came to Mays’ brother, C.Jay Jones, last year when he saw the perfect building for sale.

“When stuff hits my head, I just go with it,” he said. “I don’t really think too much on it; it just comes to me.”

After years of envisioning a traditional soul food restaurant full of his family’s recipes, he and his sisters took a leap of faith to bring their passions together under one roof.

“We just like trick them up a little bit,” he said describing the food.

Sooul Food carry-out on one side and Hair Wear Beauty Supply on the other.

“They think it’s very weird,” Mays said when asked what people’s first reaction is to their unique business. “Until they come in to see, actually see it, then they’re like, ‘oh, we get it now!’”

Wednesday through Saturday, family members like their cousin Natasha Parker whip up deliciousness like family-style mac and cheese. Extra emphasis on the cheese.

“I think we’re the first ones that actually got a soul food Black-owned business around here,” Jones said.

It’s also the only hair supply store in Bedford. Before Hair Wear people had to drive to Roanoke or Lynchburg to get many of their beauty supplies.

“We don’t just do this for ourselves,” Jones said. “We do this because it’s needed.”

Jones, Mays and the rest of the family wanted to bring something different to Bedford. And they give credit to God for opening the doors they needed to walk through.

“We’re excited to be here. And everyday we just pray that the Lord do something different,” Mays laughed. “Bring in the customers!”

Hair Wear opened in November 2020 and Soul Food opened in January 2021. The family continues to have big dreams to grow both sides of the business. Click here for operating hours, location and other information.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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