November 26, 2015


By Dr. Valerie Wardlaw 

Contributing Writer 


The OWN Network welcomed returning series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” and “Raising Whitley” on Saturday, November 21. On an all-new season of Sweetie Pie’s, the owner, Miss Robbie Montgomery, and her son Tim Norman are bringing their soul food empire, their fifth restaurant to the City of Angels.  That’s right – there’s a Sweetie Pie’s in Los Angeles.  When asked about the experience so far, Norman said, “it’s like having a brand new baby.  And trying to make low calorie soul food without butter…well…it does not work.”  “  If you can imagine a group of people moving to LA from St. Louis, it’s like a 2015 version of the “Beverly Hillbillies,” Norman said.  “  We went from knowing everyone to not knowing anyone but we’ve laughed a lot.” 


Miss Robbie laughs when she thinks about all the changes in her life because of the show.  “I went from working as a medical tech, to being a struggling restaurant owner, to being on a television show at my age.  I could not image that.  All I can say is that God is good,” Montgomery said.  “I didn’t think everyone would want to move out here but they did.  I didn’t move because St. Louis is my blood but I’m going to visit often.”


Being in Los Angeles has re-lit Miss Robbie’s musical fire as she takes the big step to record once again.  “Tim’s dream is for me to perform again, and his enthusiasm for me is contagious.  He wants to be a music producer and as his momma, I want to see my baby live out his dreams.  You will see how that plays out on the show,” Montgomery said.  Miss Robbie was a former Ikette, singing with Ike and Tina Turner for years.  “In the beginning it was my singing that had soul.  But when my career ended, this soul sister turned to soul food and now I’m coming full circle, back to possibly singing again…life is full of surprises.”


Raising Whitley stars the hilarious Kim Whitely who returns for a third season.  Whitley and ‘The Village’ as she affectionately calls her collection of friends embark on another season of raising her son Joshua together.  This season, Whitley says she’s excited about the renewal of her new sitcom, “Young & Hungry” but is concerned about how she will balance it all.  “My friend Mickey moves in with me and what was supposed to be for a little while turns into something different.”  When the arrangement begins to unravel, Judge Mablean is asked to hold an intervention.  You can hear the laughs already…


On the serious side, Whitley decides to tell Joshua that he’s adopted or at least introduce the concept to him.  “You know, you start the conversation now so you can at least introduce them to the word so it won’t be shocking as he gets older,” Whitley said.  “It was really a scary experience, I thought what if my baby says he’s going to pack his bags and leave!”  Whitley says it was a nice coincidence that season three of “Raising Whitley” coincided with National Adoption Day.  “I’m passionate about adoption and I want to encourage women who want to have a baby to not wait!  It’s okay to go have a baby if that’s what you want and there’s no man in sight.  You can have a baby…you can go adopt a kid.” 


When asked what has been most surprising about raising Joshua, Whitley said, “You’re just tired all the time.  I mean, just plain old, tired.  My friends tried to tell me and you know what, it’s really true.”  When asked if she’s given up on getting married, Whitley responds with a resounding, ‘NO’.  “I’ve been engaged six times but you know I believe in love and I’m putting it out there.  I want to get married, my parents were married so I know what love looks like and how good it can be.”


“Sweetie Pie’s” and “Raising Whitley” can be seen on the OWN Network, Saturdays, 9pm/10pmET/PT.

Category: Arts & Culture