In the beginning, it was her singing that had soul. Before she became a restaurant owner, Miss Robbie Montgomery was an "Ikette" on tour with the Ike and Tina Turner Review. But after a collapsed lung rendered her unable to sing, the self-professed soul sister turned to soul food. Seventeen years ago, Miss Robbie opened the very first Sweetie Pie's restaurant in St. Louis and brought her family in to help run the business. Since then, the family business has expanded to three Sweetie Pie's restaurants, and they never run out of food -- or drama.
Now, the Sweetie Pie's gang is back in the summer season premiere of "Welcome to Sweetie Pie's." In this sneak peek of the episode, Miss Robbie takes the lead in managing the family business with her signature no-nonsense style. The morning begins routinely enough, with Miss Robbie taste-testing the food at the original Sweetie Pie's location, run by her sister Jan. "For the last 17 years since I opened my first restaurant at West Florissant, the first thing I do every morning is I taste the food, see if it's got enough seasoning," Miss Robbie says. "If it's up to my standards, then it's good enough for my customers. If it's not, they got to fix it right."
But not everything is business as usual. When Miss Robbie arrives home later that morning, she approaches her son, Tim -- co-owner of Sweetie Pie's Mangrove location -- with a big business consideration.
"I think closing West Florissant and Mangrove would be a great business decision," Miss Robbie says, explaining that neither location is making too much money and would rather put energy and finances into Sweetie Pie's third location, Upper Crust.
Tim strongly disagrees. In the video, he explains why he doesn't approve of the plan while Miss Robbie confesses that she's "ashamed" of the state of the West Florissant restaurant. The fate of the family business hangs in the balance.