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I had the opportunity to sit down with OWN Tv’s super entrepreneur and restaurant mogul Tim Norman of Sweetie Pies during his recent trip to Atlanta. Tim and the entire Sweetie Pies gang is excited about the expansion of their new restaurant, moving to the west coast, and building their brand one person, one plate, and one restaurant at a time. The upcoming season shows the cast adjusting to life on the West Coast and bringing soul food to an area of the country that’s used to bean sprouts, tofu, and gluten-free.

Check out the details below.

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Tim Norman along with kid cousin Lil Charles, assistant Danielle and restaurant manager Chloe takes on their latest adventure and venture in the Sweetie Pies franchise. The quartet was in the ATL over the weekend to promote SEASON 9 upcoming premiere, visit the city, and host an epic watch party for Atlanta’s most influential taste makers. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk food, business, and how to expand the hustle with the crew. I jumped at the opportunity to chat with the SWEETIE PIES Family because I am a huge fan of the series and it’s good to connect with good people who are winning in business and life.

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When you think of Miss Robbie and her delicious food from Sweetie Pies you think of southern comfort, good music, good friends, good family, and fun. Tim and his cohorts decided to take their brand of good food on the road literally with the release of Miss Robbie’s long anticipated cookbook “Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours” and the grand opening of a West Coast Sweetie Pies location in North Hollywood that prompted the four to move from St. Louis to Los Angeles!

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As a fan of the series, I always envisioned Miss Robbie and Tim coming to Atlanta or another southern city for their next restaurant opening. I was shocked with Tim decided to take the Sweetie Pies brand to the West Coast instead. When asked about the motivation to move to the West Coast this is what Tim had to say,

I was in LA so much for business; it just seemed like the perfect place to set up shop. People always ask if we are coming to their city and LA was open to a quality soul food restaurant.

Black businesses tend to cater to black people exclusively; unlike other communities who are open to marketing to different demographics. In St. Louis Sweetie Pies was “HOOD FAMOUS” and once we started marketing to people outside of our comfort zone we experienced tremendous growth. I want our company to be embraced by all kinds of people; we have a product that was missing in the land of six packs and gluten-free. We are doing so well that we are planning a second location in Inglewood coming soon!

Expanding to the West Coast is a major endeavor for the brand and I had to ask how Miss. Robbie is dealing with Tim being in a different city full time. How can you operate in multiple cities without missing a beat?

We have our St. Louis operations pretty much automated and Mom is traveling back and forth so it’s all working out well!

In addition to the new location; Miss. Robbie’s highly anticipated cookbook is finally available just in time for the holidays. We watched Tim coax a very resistant Miss. Robbie into sharing her recipes and family secrets with the world. When asked about the cook book Tim had the following to say,

The deal got done before the cookbook. Mom did not want to share our family secrets but I urged her to share her recipes and understand that she would not betray our restaurant or our family. It’s a great tool to share our brand with the world and that a  recipe will taste different because it’s the cook who makes it!

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When asked about what can fans expect this season Lil Charles stepped in and let us know that we are in for a RIDE and we will see some serious growth. Charles shares,

We are going to bring the entertainment. You will see who’s the biggest boss out of our crew. We learned how to work together, let the restaurant, and how to live together. I have also grown a whole lot. Moving away from home, from mom, and Aunt Robbie is forcing me to do better. I love being in a new city and their move has made us grow up and together as a family, a business, and restaurant!

 

Tim was very vocal and active in the protests surrounding the untimely death of Mike Brown. Since that time Missouri has been a hot bed for activism and a stage for political topics of the day. I had to get Tim’s thoughts on the latest issues with the University of Missouri and social activism as a whole. Tim shared,

Mike Brown was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It woke everyone from their inactivity. We as young people are knowing our voices to incite change. We have to speak up to make changes; we have an awakening of sorts. I think in the next few years we will see more young people getting involved in political and social activism.

As you can see Sweetie Pies has a lot in store for us this season. So be sure to set your DVR’s Saturday, November 21, 2015 to OWN to catch the growth of our favorite restaurant family: Sweetie Pies!

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