In Three Rivers, owning a small business can be a way to earn a living without having to commute to a 9-to-5 job. Some small businesses open and close seemingly overnight.
But others have the right stuff to be successful. Part of that success formula is for the owner of a particular business to do much of the work themselves.
And that is what Anne Lang has been doing since 1979. She first opened her retail shop — then called The Staff of Life — selling baked goods; bulk teas, coffees, herbs, spices, and grains; and other healthy offerings in the building that most recently housed the 3R Velo indoor cycling studio.
Then she discovered another piece of the puzzle to small-business success: diversify.
In 1984, as Anne outgrew her space, she purchased her current building on Sierra Drive at the North Fork Bridge, where she could have room for her ever-growing inventory and services. She kept the bulk foods and added counter service for homemade sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, and Italian sodas, coffee drinks, and ice cream treats.
Cards and gift items also stocked the shelves. Along came a flower shop with Anne, herself, creating the arrangements and doing the deliveries. She is part of the worldwide FTD network so fills orders from anywhere on the planet for a Three Rivers special delivery.
Because all of the above didn't keep her busy enough from daybreak to nightfall, Anne is also a notary public.
Anne is a 60-year resident of Three Rivers. She was raised in Exeter but met and married a Three Rivers guy. Dick Lang (1927-1999) was a general contractor who built many Three Rivers homes.
Anne Lang's Emporium is a popular spot for meetings and other get-togethers. It is even the picnic stop for whitewater rafters on the Kaweah River each spring and the first point of contact for 1st Saturday-Three Rivers visitors, providing maps and directions to artists' studios.
Now, after almost 40 years, Anne is stepping away from (most of) her business. Every now and then, she might still appear on a local doorstep with a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers.