85-Year-Old Black Restaurant Owner Inducted Into Barbecue Hall Of Fame
Desiree Robinson, an 85-year-old African American entrepreneur from Memphis, Tennessee, has made history as the first woman to be inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame. Robinson is the proud owner and pitmaster of Cozy Corner, a renowned barbecue restaurant that has been serving amazing smoked meat for over 45 years.
In 1977, Robinson and her late husband, Raymond, teamed up to establish Cozy Corner. Together they built a legacy that Robinson continued after her husband’s passing in 2001. Even today, she never fails to acknowledge her husband’s talent and efforts that led to the success of the business.
“My husband was an awesome cook, and I’m good, but not nearly as good as he was. I’m telling you, it blew my mind. It started with him. He built it for us,” Robinson told Fox 13 Memphis, adding that her husband’s warm personality and ability to connect with customers contributed a significant part to their restaurant’s success.
Robinson’s commitment to upholding the restaurant’s high culinary standards earned her a well-deserved place in the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2020. Notably, Robinson not only became the first Black woman honoree but also the first living Black honoree, as three other Black men were inducted posthumously.
“I wish I could describe it to you,” she said. “You just can’t imagine how good it makes me feel. I’m blessed because I know it’s all about how it got started and maintained.”
Robinson’s family has played a vital role in creating a welcoming atmosphere for customers. The restaurant has become a second home for her children, who would take their naps in the back in their early years and grew up contributing to the business, from wiping tables to waiting on customers, according to their age.
“I’m blessed. I’ve got a wonderful family, I really do,” said Robinson. “Four generations of family. We work together in harmony, and I just thank God for that.”
This news first appeared on blackbusiness.com.