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. She 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, Desiree and her late husband, Raymond, teamed up to establish Cozy Corner. Together, they built a legacy that Desiree continued after her husband’s passing in 2001. Over the years, 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,” Desiree told Fox 13 Memphis, adding that her husband’s warm personality and ability to connect with customers also attributed a significant part to their restaurant’s success.
Desiree’s dedication and commitment to maintaining the restaurant’s high standards earned her a well-deserved place in the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2020. Notably, Desiree 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,” Desiree 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.”
For over 45 years, Desiree’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 used to take their naps in the back as young kids and later grew up to contribute to the business according to their age, from wiping tables to waiting on customers.
“I’m blessed. I’ve got a wonderful family, I really do,” she added. “Four generations of family. We work together in harmony and I just thank God for that.”
Learn more about Cozy Corner via its official website at CozyCornerBBQ.com
Also, support the business by going to its location at 735 N. Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105