Anne Lang's Emporium
Photo © Anne Lang
Located on the banks of the Kaweah River in the heart of town and just five miles from the south entrance to Sequoia National Park, Anne Lang’s Emporium as been a local landmark in Three Rivers for more than 30 years. The Emporium sits at the corner of Sierra Drive (Hwy 198) and North Fork Drive, and is one of the few riverside establishments that survived the historic 1955 flood. When visiting the store, be sure to check out the poster-size photo that shows the aftermath of the flood.
Owner and proprietor Anne Lang has lived in Three Rivers for more than 50 years. She prides herself in homemade soups and salads made fresh daily on the premises, along with a wide variety of made-to-order hot and cold sandwiches, old fashioned shakes and malts, Italian sodas and assorted coffee drinks. Enjoy a riverside lunch on the upper or lower deck and see nature in action such as hummingbirds sipping at their feeders, fish jumping in the river, and birds nesting in the Cottonwoods. In the spring, you might see local whitewater rafts and kayaks pulled onto the beach below her store where adventurers pause from a day on the Class 4/5 Kaweah River to enjoy their picnic lunch provided by Anne and her staff. Numerous rafting companies find this an ideal spot for lunch given its convenient location that’s half way between their put-in near Sequoia Park and take-out to the west at Lake Kaweah.
Anne Lang grew up 20 miles away in Exeter, and while in high school, fell madly in love with Dick Lang, a builder from Three Rivers. They married the day after she graduated and began a 42-year adventure. Anne Lang’s Emporium first opened in 1979 as a bakery, about a half mile east of its current location, in the smallest of the Newman building spaces on Sierra Drive. Originally called "The Staff of Life", Anne taught women the art of baking bread. It was also a place to procure 40 different grains and seeds and more than 200 herbs, spices and teas. The grain bins have been replaced by a deli section, but the herbs, spices and teas remain.
Anne's success is partly due to her genuine desire to help. "When people ask for something, I try to find it for them," says Anne. One cold day, a man came in wishing for a hot bowl of soup and I thought, 'I know how to make soup.' Next, someone came in hungry for a sandwich to go with the soup and I thought, 'I know how to make sandwiches.' And that's how the store became a deli."
There's more than good food at Anne Lang's. "One day, a bride-to-be came in and asked if I could make a bouquet. I thought, 'I can make a bouquet,’ and that, along with a few classes, is how the store became an FTD flower shop.” There are green plants, blooming plants and floral arrangements in the full-service flower shop. If you are planning a wedding, celebrating a birthday or just want to say I'm thinking of you, Anne and her designers can help with all your floral needs. While shopping for display baskets at a gift show, Dick liked the greeting card idea, and that's was the beginning of the store's gift section.
The store grew and Anne moved into both of the other spaces in Newman’s building, needing a bigger space each time. In 1984, the store moved to its current location and added flowers and catering to its offerings. “Anne Lang's Emporium" has become just that – a place to find something for everyone, a space of familiarity and a hub for the little community of Three Rivers. It’s location also makes it an ideal marker for finding your way up North Fork Drive to the historic Kaweah Post Office, a century-old and still operating U.S. post office that’s also a California Historic Landmark, number 389.
It’s proximity to the center of town makes the Emporium an ideal starting point for the monthly 1st Saturday in Three Rivers, when merchants offer specials and provide space for local artists to showcase and demonstrate their handiwork. You might find acrylic and watercolor painting , spinning, jewelry, weaving, and ceramics, to name a few of the many talents featured on each 1st Saturday. Stop by Anne Lang’s Emporium to pick up a map of the artists on display.
There are also several annual events to enjoy in Three Rivers – all of which are held at the Lions Club Arena – so make the turn onto North Fork Drive at Anne Lang’s Emporium to find these events. In April, the Three Rivers Lion’s Club hosts a team roping event, an old West tradition for more than 60 years. Also in April is the Jazzaffair, a premiere musical event featuring bands from around the United States playing Dixieland Jazz, Blues, Swing, Pop, Cajun and show tunes. In May is the Red Bud Arts and Crafts Festival, where you can enjoy great food, music and local artists gathered to display and sell their creations, celebrating springtime in Three Rivers.
Today, Anne Lang’s Emporium is a favorite lunch spot for locals and tourists alike. In addition to fresh and natural food choices, the store also offers ice cream and coffee drinks, plus dozens of teas and whole-bean coffees, bulk herbs and spices, cards, gifts, flowers and the best place to soak up the sights and sounds of the foothill community of Three Rivers.
Hours Open: Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 10-5
Seasons Open: Year round, Closed Sundays during the winter.
Price Style for this Establishment: Affordable, family friendly choices
Owner and proprietor Anne Lang grew up just 20 miles away in Exeter, California and has lived in Three Rivers for more than 50 years.
The flower shop, dining room, upper deck & restroom are wheelchair accessible.