[INTERVIEW] OWN TVâs Miss Robbie Cooks Up a Hit with "Welcome to Sweetie Pies"

[INTERVIEW] OWN TV’s Miss Robbie Cooks Up a Hit with "Welcome to Sweetie Pies"

The 71-Year-Old Chef Dishes on Love, Family and Working for Oprah

[INTERVIEW] OWN TVâs Miss Robbie Cooks Up a Hit with "Welcome to Sweetie Pies"

everything, we’re filming seven days a week in our house and at the business.  We get a little stressed and the challenge is to get up and still do this every day and at the same time not neglect your business, because that’s easily done.  You can forget that the show and every other opportunity have come about because of [the restaurant], so we can’t lose sight of that. [The restaurant] is the dream.

EBONY: What can we expect to see on the show this season?

RM: Well as Dela Reese says, “People are only nice for a little while.”  With the cameras rolling, you see our good side, but we also have our negative stuff going on too. It’s real, it’s not scripted.  You’ll see Tim put his hands on Charles. You’ll see Tim trying to buy a big house for all of us to live in, which I’m against. You’ll see Tim and I are going to counseling because he thinks he knows more than me. He thinks I’m too old to know anything and I think he’s too young to know everything!   And we’re constructing the new restaurant and Jenae [Tim’s fiancée and TJ’s mom] is looking for a place to have the wedding. There’s a lot going on, a lot of drama. You know, we have our ups and downs, but at the end of it, we’re a real family.  At the end of the day we mean business. We plan on making it work.

EBONY: You’re a single mother running two restaurants, building a third and managing your family and a reality show.  What advice do you have for other single mothers out there who are struggling to provide for their families and fulfill their own dreams at the same time?

RM:  Well, you know I’m crazy! And you have to be crazy to try and do all of this; it’s not an easy job.  But if it’s something you want to do, it’s not a hard job either.  I mean, it won’t be too much for you because you enjoy the work. I love cooking for people, I’m a people person, I always have been, and I wanted to work with people and create something for my family to have at the same time [which is why I started Sweetie Pies].   

Some days I don’t want to be the strongest person in the family. Some days I want to take a break.  But you just have to keep going.  I get weak sometimes. The staff beats me down the world beats me down, but you’ve got to keep looking at the light at the end of the tunnel.

EBONY: It also can’t hurt to work for someone as positive and uplifting as Oprah. What’s that like?

RM:I actually only spoke with her once on the phone before we started the show but I got to meet her finally in person [just a few weeks ago] because she kicked off her Lifeclass [series] here in St. Louis and she came to Sweetie Pies at a time when the line was around the block. She stood in that line, anyway, didn’t ask for special treatment and then when she got up to me [in the cafeteria-style line] I heard a voice saying [imitating Oprah] “Where’s Miss Robbie?”  [Laughs] And she gave me a high five -- you know how she does it! -- and people were screaming. I was elated. And she just grabbed me and gave me this incredible hug. It was the first time in my life where somebody made me feel like, “I got you.”  [That was] the first time I’ve ever felt like that. 

EBONY: You’ve achieved so much success already and have made such an impact, first with your voice and now with your food. What do you hope your legacy will be?

RM: I just want people to remember me as being a fair person and a lovable person and a family person.  I’m building this [business] all for my family now. When I die, they might not want this, and that’s fine ‘cause when I’m dead and gone I won’t know anything about it! But as long as I’m here, I’m going to make sure they have something.

Catch Welcome to Sweetie Pies on OWN on Saturdays at 9/8c.

Brooke Obie runs the award-winning blog DCDistrictDiva.com. Follow her on Twitter @DCDistrictDiva.

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