Annie Isaiah – Isaiah’s Busy Bee (1971 – late 1990s) | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Annie Isaiah

Isaiah's Busy Bee Cafe

Annie Isaiah is the daughter-in-law of the late Georgia Isaiah, who opened and operated Isaiah’s Busy Bee Cafe in Oxford from 1971 to the late 1990s. After marrying Georgia’s son, George Isaiah, Annie began helping Georgia with hosting and waiting tables. With only four or five tables in the small restaurant, most of the customers were regulars associated with the University of Mississippi.

Born in Oxford, Georgia spent thirty years cooking for two chancellors at the University of Mississippi. When she finally retired, she still had the urge to feed her friends and neighbors and opened her own cafe, Isaiah’s Busy Bee, on Christmas Eve 1971.

For the next twenty or so years, Georgia served a daily menu of a meat and two vegetables. She plucked vegetables from her garden, fried chicken, and baked pound cakes to the delight of the greater Oxford community.

Mrs. Isaiah is gone and so is her cafe, but memories of this woman and her glorious food still swim in many hearts and stomachs of her former regulars around this small college town.

Date of interview:
2004-08-05 00:00

Amy C Evans


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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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