Too Many Cooks In the Kitchen? Sweetie Pie’s Miss Robbie Is Suing Son Tim
If you’re a fan of OWN Network’s “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”, you already know of the hot and cold relationship between restaurant owner Robbie Montgomery and son/business partner, Tim Norman. In past seasons, the two have hashed it out over which locations are best for new restaurants as they expand their brand to different parts of the country. The two have squabbled over staff changes and labels for their line of sweet tea all while balancing their personal and professional lives. Each episode usually ends with an endearing reminder that family comes first, but this time mother and son may be putting the hugs on hold.
EBONY reports that according to court documents, Miss Robbie is suing Norman over infringement of her trademark over the use of the “Sweetie Pie’s” name for restaurants he opened in both St. Louis and Los Angeles. Fans may have seen this coming during an episode filmed last year in which Norman took it upon himself to name a Sweetie Pie’s location he was opening in Los Angeles, “TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s NOHO” after his son. Montgomery claims Norman infringed on her trademark by using signage and with the name to promote the restaurant in marketing and on social media without her permission. He also is accused of opening subsequent locations in Berkeley, Missouri and Flourissant, Missouri which violates trademark rules. Court documents state:
“The fact Defendant Norman is identified as a member of Miss Robbie’s family on the Sweetie Pie’s Show, along with his position on the Show, further increases the potential of causing confusion in the market place.”
In addition, Montgomery claims that the unauthorized use of the name is now being associated with negative Yelp reviews of the location which are damaging to her brand. A few reviews read:
“They need to hire a professional to revise the recipes here. Unfortunately I won’t be back.”
“To Oprah Winfrey and the Owner of Sweetie Pie’s and your son, if this is what you are allowing to be served in an establishment with your brand, you need to continually do quality control to ensure your customers are getting what they came for and that your recipes are being properly prepared with PRIDE so customers don’t post reviews like this one.”
Montgomery also says that Norman took money from the Manchester Sweetie Pie’s location without her knowledge to open up subsequent locations. According to the lawsuit, Montgomery expresses that although she’s demanded the monies be returned, Norman has refused. She is seeking an injunction to have Norman cease the use of the trademark.
Maybe the family is just getting some extra drama stirred up for the next season, but this wouldn’t be the first time the family hasn’t seen eye to eye when it comes to official Sweetie Pie’s business. In 2012, there were rumors reported about the rising tensions among the family that would possibly result in therapy sessions with “Fix My Life” star Iyanla Vanzant. We hope the family can work things out or go their separate ways because all of this drama is leaving a bad taste in our mouths.