Ann Richards Taylor, 80, owner and operator of a gourmet food shop in Georgetown in the 1950s who later became active in civic and political organizations died of an embolism Friday at the Washington Hospital Center. o

Miss Taylor ran "Ann's Kitchen" at P Street and Wisconsin Avenue from 1948 to 1959. A story that appeared in The Washington Post in 1959 said the kitchen was a location "where gourmet fare as the very best cheeses, hopjes, croissants, and espresso machines" were sold.

Another Post article had made clear that while Miss Taylor sold fine foods and spices, she was not an unabashed enthusiast of all things in the gourmet world:

"I frankly can't understand why snails are so popular," she said in a 1956 interview. They taste like little pieces of old rubber to me."

During her years running Ann's Kitchen, she also ran a mail order firm called Lawrence Curry, which marketed old recipes for East Indian spices and curry. It also was during these years that foreign students shopped for food and spices at Ann's Kitchen, and by all accounts Miss Taylor became taken with stories of the Far East.

In 1959, she sold her shop and automobile and rented her Washington home and tok off on what stretched to a two-year field trip. She traveled in Vietnam, Cambodia, Hond Kong and Malaya.

After returning to Washington in 1961, she devoted much of the next 12 years to the D.C. League of Women Voters, and directed that organization's foreign policy studies.

Since 1975 she had been active in the Woman's Democratic Club and had headed the food policy task force of the club's political action committee. She also had served as an adviser to the President's Committee on World Hunger.

Miss Taylor was a 1921 graduate of Bryn Mawr College. She came to Washington from her native Philadelphia in 1942 to work in the War Department. She directed research on postwar training and employment there before leaving the government in the mid 1940s.

Survivors include a brother, Dr. Henry Gurney Taylor of Center Sandwich, N.H.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Washington. Miss Taylor was a member of the church.