Robbie Montgomery grew up in the State of Mississippi before her family moved to St. Louis. As the oldest of nine kids it was often up to her to help with putting meals on the family table. She learned to prepare her mother’s soul food dishes by working side by side with her in their St. Louis kitchen.
Having sung in the church choir and in local talent contests, Robbie had a gift for song and in 1958 she left school to pursue music professionally. The opportunity presented itself to work with Art Lassiter and Robbie began singing as an “Artette”. Soon, she met and worked as a backup singer with Ike Turner and a young Anna Mae Bullock who was soon to become Tina Turner. “A Fool In Love” became Ike and Tina Turner’s fist big hit and Robbie joined them on the road as an “Ikette”. During her time on the road, Robbie’s skills in the kitchen proved useful during the tours and she often prepared meals for the band on hot plates in hotel rooms.
Robbie moved to California to go on to tour with Dr. John as a “Night Tripper” and did session work with Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Joe Cocker and the Rolling Stones among others. When Robbie Montgomery toured with the 1960s soul duo sensation Ike and Tina Turner as one of the original backup singers, she poured her creative gifts into her cooking as much as her singing. In the later part of the 1970’s she open a restaurant in Pomona, California known as Wings and Things. Her singing career came to an end in 1979 when a lung condition did not heal properly and she was forced to retire. She returned to St. Louis and had a second career as a dialysis technician. The drive to open a restaurant was overpowering for Robbie and she soon found another audience for her talents when she — along with her son, Tim Norman — opened Sweetie Pie’s.
Sweetie Pie’s serves up that good food Robbie’s mother taught her to make when she was just a girl. Sweetie Pie’s has been featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and is scheduled for an appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network in October – proof that her determination to not cut corners with her food is still bringing applause from her fans.
While Tim and his fiancée, Jenae, tend to their newborn son and plan their wedding – Miss Robbie, who has never been married, continues to look for love at the age of 71 all the while keeping the family in line – especially her wise-cracking nephew Lil’ Charles.
Sweetie Pie Locations: 4270 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis MO (314) 371-0304
9841 West Florissant Avenue, St. Louis (314) 521-9915
Grand Opening Reception of Sweetie Pie’s Upper Crust (3rd resturant!)