Photos Courtesy: Oprah Winfrey Network
Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s is currently one of the most popular shows on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network! It is a great example of positive, inspiring and uplifting programming. Miss Robbie went from being a successful backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner touring around the world until unexpectedly her life changed! Her lung collapsed and she could no longer sing! Miss Robbie was practically homeless sleeping on her friend’s couch and selling soul food out of the trunk of her car!
She knows pain, oh too well! She has dealt with the loss of a son who passed and her son Tim fell into the wrong crowd and ended up in prison for ten years at the age of 17. Her only grandson, Baby TJ was born prematurely. Miss Robbie kept her faith in God and kept believing! She is now the CEO of a very successful family business- two of the most popular soul food restaurants in the country!
At 71, Miss Robbie stays very busy with Sweetie Pie’s (the original location), Sweetie Pie’s at the Mangrove, a hit show on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Miss Robbie’s third restaurant, Sweetie Pie’s – the Upper Crust which is scheduled to open this spring!
She is a natural comedian and a very wise woman! If you haven’t seen this show you are doing yourself an injustice!
Joy105.com: Miss Robbie were you raised in the church?
Miss Robbie: Yes, I was raised Baptist. My aunt was a Methodist, so later on in life we changed over to Methodist to go to church with my aunt. We had to go to church every Sunday and we had to go to BYPU! I don’t know if they still do that, but back in the day it was a must and on top of that we had to go to Vacation Bible School in the summer! So YES I was raised in the church! (laughing)
Joy105.com: Miss Robbie were you in the choir at church because you love to sing?
Miss Robbie: Yes, I was and in the high school choir. I mean I love to sing! We sung on the corners every place I went we would form a group and sing! If there was a talent show I was in it because I always thought I could sing! That was one of my many talents and the one I would drive my Mom crazy with…singing![youtube id=”9Hbl-TXcQLk” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Joy105.com: Now Sweetie Pie’s Restaurant… was this a lifelong dream?
Miss Robbie: You know actually it wasn’t a dream! I always dreamed of being a singer! When I was on the road back in the 60’s everything was segregated. I was the oldest of 9 kids so I had to know how to cook! So when we would luckily get a kitchenette on the road I would be the one to cook. Everyone would always say this is good and you can cook, but my Mom was an excellent cook. I would watch her; I kept her recipes I mean I could make a meal out of nothing because my Mom did!
But when my lungs collapsed and I knew I had to continue to be financially secure this is when I said ok I will give it a try and see what happens! That was it, I couldn’t sing anymore and I didn’t have any more talents that I knew of… at that time! So with my talent and A LOT of faith I went forward! I am a firm believer in believing in myself (not conceded). Anytime God has revealed my talents I have went for it and it has always worked out for me.
Now… what I do have a problem with is PATIENCE! I’ve had to learn that!!! (laughing)
Joy105.com: Miss Robbie you are 71 will be 72 in June! Do you feel like there is such a thing as too late or too old?
Miss Robbie: No! I never feel like it is too late to do ANYTHING! Now… I probably won’t bungee jump (laughing), but anything else I will try it because I believe things come to you when they are supposed to!
I mean I never thought this would be happening to ME! I am 71! I was happy and prepared to take the next step! I use everything in my life as a stepping stone and I am a firm believer that God won’t do for one child what HE won’t do for another, but you have to be there and open to do what HE is saying do! You have to follow HIM, I believe in faith, I walk by faith!
Joy105.com: What was it like raising 2 sons as a single mother?
Miss Robbie: You know I traveled all the time so I was never there with my son’s which was frustrating, but I was the provider! My kids were with my Mom during the time of my traveling I felt very secure because they were with my Mom, but as a Mother you want your babies with you at all times! Sometimes it’s impossible to do and you have to go where your talent and God is leading you if you are a provider! I thank God for my Mom because she was around during my days that I was away from my kids. I always wanted them with me and every opportunity I got to bring them I would!
Joy105.com: Miss Robbie Mother’s Day is approaching and there is a Mother with a child in prison, a deceased child, a sick child, a Mother that doesn’t know from day to day how they are going to be able to continue to feed that child/children. What hope can you offer them?
Miss Robbie: Being a Mother is a PRIVILEGE AND AN HONOR! Everybody don’t have kids or can’t have kids! I hear many say I wish I had the experience of even carrying a child. So if you are blessed enough to carry a child and to be able to love a child, someone God has given to you to protect, nurture, grow…it’s like a seed and you plant it. I mean it might not turn out the way that you want it, but it is still a part of you and it’s your child!
If you are a Mom and you have a kid in prison just stick by them I mean we all make mistakes, we all make mistakes in life! With them knowing they have someone behind them and supporting them, they can go a lot further and it gives them the hope to look forward to coming home.
If you have a child that’s sick…I mean you are all they have to believe in and lean on other than God. A child looks to their Mom! Have you ever seen the state trying to take a child, they holla I want my momma, I want my momma! So being a Mother is truly a privilege and an honor.
I have all of these kids that I call my children that I didn’t have labor pains with and they all call me Mom! At first, I said wow I can tell I’m getting old everybody is calling me Mom, but now I know it is a respect! When you call somebody Mom you respect them! A Mom, a Mother that’s a hell of a word! Everybody doesn’t get the privilege…
Joy105.com: (laughing) Miss Robbie CONGRATULATIONS concerning Baby TJ! I recall you asking everyone on international TV to come together and pray for Baby TJ when we was born prematurely. Now… Miss Robbie no one does that on, “reality TV”! (laughing) We love you because you keep it real!
Miss Robbie: That’s exactly who I am! A praying woman! I remember when we use to watch Muhammad Ali fight and everybody use to say the whole world is pulling for him he can’t lose! Well, that’s how I felt! If the whole world was praying for my grandson he had to make it through! God is a favorable God and I mean I knew for sure he was going to come through when the world started praying for him!
Look at him; he is cooing and gooing with 2 teeth! He is our little treasure! We could have lost him, but through it all I believed!
Joy105.com: Miss Robbie he is a handsome little fella!
Miss Robbie: Just like his G-R-A-N-D-M-A-M-M-A! (laughing)
Joy105.com: This baby was born famous!
Miss Robbie: Yes, he was! The first woman to kiss him on his lips was Oprah! So we will remind him when he gets older that the first woman that kissed those lips was Oprah! (laughing)
Joy105.com: Miss Robbie how important is prayer to your business and show?
Miss Robbie: We pray EVERYDAY before we open the doors! We know to make it through each day it will take prayer! We come together and pray daily! We have a lot of obstacles that come at us daily. We pray for a peaceful day and that God will continue to bless each of us, our customers, our viewers, our families and my business. So that we can all continue to prosper doesn’t have to only be in money, but in love and health!
I love helping and inspiring when I can. I mean don’t wake up every day trying to inspire somebody (laughing), but if I can do it that day, you know it makes me feel good because I enjoy my life as a 71 year old person!
Joy105.com: You don’t look it!
Miss Robbie: Well, I know for sure I am! (laughing) You don’t have to look it, but hey I got a lot of things going on that tells me I am 71! (laughing) I am just so blessed and thankful because this could have happen to someone else, but I thank God it happened to me!
Joy105.com: (laughing) Miss Robbie when you see that all the pain you have endured in life had a purpose. How does this make you feel? Your show is one of the top shows on OWN Network!
Miss Robbie: I am OVERWHELMED!!! When I started I was afraid and insecure, but I wanted it to be good because I was giving it my all. When they told us that our show was a success I was like, “Thank ya Jesus” this is what I prayed for!
At restaurants we have lines down the street and when people get in they say, “Miss Robbie you gotta do something bout that line”! I’m like, “honey, I prayed for this line! I ain’t gon do NOTHING, but pray that this line gets longer!!!”
Joy105.com: (laughing) You gotta love her!
Miss Robbie: It feels good to be a part of something that’s working! I don’t care what it is…baking a cake…whatever it feels good and your chest goes out.
I’m thanking God that I was open enough to receive from Him and that I am one that HE has chosen to bestow such a blessing upon.
Joy105.com: Miss Robbie you keep it real! You show tough and soft love! (laughing) Are both needed?
Miss Robbie: Yes, tough love is needed! You want to teach people what is right! It doesn’t necessarily mean you are trying to hurt their feelings, but I want to be known for being right!
It’s so easy to walk the right road, but once you get off of it…it’s HARD to get back on that path!
So when I see something going down I am going to tell it like it is even if it hurt me! A lot of things I do hurt me because I don’t want to hurt their feelings or holla, but most of the times I have given them 50 times to get it right so now I gotta open your eyes and let you know YOU ain’t there! You’re not there yet! (laughing) So I try to help ya and if I can’t help ya…
I have strengths and weaknesses too, but I can’t keep bringing me down trying to raise you up!
I’m willing to help, but if you don’t want it I can’t give it to you! So both are a MUST!