Small Businesses Rake in Cash After Reality TV Spots
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

What do “Sweetie Pie’s,” “Duck Dynasty” and “Pawn Stars” have in common? They’re all small businesses that had star turns on reality TV and, as a result, took in mountains of cash because of it.

Sales explode for small businesses on reality shows, even after just a few episodes, reports The Associated Press. These largely unknown business become household names — not to mention the financial benefits from opening gift shops.

That’s true for Robbie Montgomery, owner of Sweetie’s Pies, which has been featured in a reality series on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. The show follows Montgomery and her son as they run their two restaurants in St. Louis.

“There was a line around the block after the third or fourth episode,” Montgomery told the AP. Sales have jumped 70 percent at the restaurants, which serves Southern dishes. The show debuted in 2011 and is currently filming its fourth season.

Montgomery says their restaurants began selling $20 T-shirts featuring the matriarch’s one-liners: “If it don’t make money, it don’t make sense.”

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.