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Jolyn H. Robichaux

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Information about Jolyn H. Robichaux

Profile image of Jolyn H. Robichaux

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Retail Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/21/1928
Birth Location:
Cairo, Illinois

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Retail Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/21/1928
Birth Location:
Cairo
See how Jolyn H. Robichaux is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Successful businesswoman Jolyn H. Robichaux was born in Cairo, Illinois, on May 21, 1928, to Margaret Love and Edward Howard. Robichaux graduated from Sumner High School in 1945 and went on to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, for two years. In 1960, Robichaux received her B.A. degree in education from Chicago Teachers College.

On June 6, 1952, she married Joseph J. Robichaux, with whom she had two children: Sheila and Joseph, Jr. While raising her children, Robichaux worked as a medical assistant; the first African American employee of Betty Crocker; and as a secretary and fundraiser at a public relations firm.

In 1967, as a business investment, Robichaux and her husband purchased Baldwin Ice Cream Company; created in 1922, it was the first African American-owned ice cream company in Chicago. Robichaux worked as a secretary for the company; following her husband's death in 1971, she assumed leadership of Baldwin, becoming president and CEO.

When Robichaux took over Baldwin, the company's gross sales were $300,000; she took her new role seriously, and in 1975 earned a certificate in ice cream technology from Pennsylvania State University. In 1984, Robichaux became the second African American to open a food concession at O'Hare International Airport; she eventually grew Baldwin into a major corporation, with annual sales topping $5 million by 1985. Robichaux was also named the National Minority Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Commerce Department in 1985, for which she was presented with the award by Vice President George Bush; she was the first African American woman to receive this honor.

Robichaux retired from Baldwin Ice Cream in 1992; from 1999 until 2001, she worked for a heart disease project at the University of Texas in Dallas. In her retirement, Robichaux continued to serve on various boards and professional organizations.

Ms. Robicaux passed away on March 9, 2017

See how Jolyn H. Robichaux is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jolyn Robichaux interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jolyn Robichaux lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jolyn Robichaux talks about her grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jolyn Robichaux mentions her favorite sayings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jolyn Robichaux remembers the loving relationship with her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jolyn Robichaux lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jolyn Robichaux describes her family life as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jolyn Robichaux describes her elementary school experience
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jolyn Robichaux describes her high school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jolyn Robichaux remembers her father's illness and passing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jolyn Robichaux shares some anecdotes about her mother's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jolyn Robichaux details her segregated high school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jolyn Robichaux lists her elementary and high schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jolyn Robichaux talks about her college experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jolyn Robichaux discusses her early career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jolyn Robichaux talks about going back to college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jolyn Robichaux recalls her courtship and marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jolyn Robichaux describes the early days of marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jolyn Robichaux discusses purchasing Baldwin Ice Cream
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jolyn Robichaux details the daily operations at Baldwin Ice Cream
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jolyn Robichaux describes the hurdles in getting Baldwin Ice Cream into grocery stores
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jolyn Robichaux details the daily operations at Baldwin Ice Cream (part 1)
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jolyn Robichaux describes the daily challenges of running Baldwin Ice Cream
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jolyn Robichaux realizes Baldwin Ice Cream could be profitable
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jolyn Robichaux talks about her husband's death, and keeping Baldwin Ice Cream going
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jolyn Robichaux manages Baldwin Ice Cream after her husband's death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jolyn Robichaux discusses the history of black people in the ice cream business
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jolyn Robichaux details the challenges of running Baldwin Ice Cream
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jolyn Robichaux discusses her children's ambitions and her decision to sell Baldwin Ice Cream
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jolyn Robichaux describes how Baldwin Ice Cream was sold
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jolyn Robichaux discusses expanding Baldwin Ice Cream, and the Minority Entrepreneur of the Year award
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jolyn Robichaux talks about her distastrous contract with O'Hare airport
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jolyn Robichaux discusses her disastrous contract with O'Hare airport (part 2)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jolyn Robichaux recalls her husband's political ambitions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jolyn Robichaux touts her successes at Baldwin Ice Cream Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jolyn Robichaux shares her experiences working in Paris, France
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux with her husband, Joseph J. Robichaux, and her daughter, Sheila, 1966.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's sister, Charlotte Logan, 1930
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux, 1938
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's sister, Charlotte Logan, 1938
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux at her family home, Cairo, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jolyn Robichaux describes her move from Paris, France to Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jolyn Robichaux discusses her book, 'After the Ice Cream War'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jolyn Robichaux lists her greatest influences
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jolyn Robichaux contemplates her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jolyn Robichaux compares Chicago, Illinois to Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jolyn Robichaux congratulates the HistoryMakers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's mother, Margaret Love Howard, ca. 1912
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's mother, Margaret Love Howard, ca. 1922
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux with her mother, Margaret Love Howard, ca. June 1928
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux with her sisters, ca. 1998
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux with her son, Joseph Robichaux, ca. 1998
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux as a baby, 1928
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux as a baby, ca. 1928
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux, 1929
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux and her sister, Charlotte Logan, 1998
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's parents, Edward Howard and Margaret Love Howard, on their wedding day, Macon, Illinois, 1927
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's grandparents [William and Charlotte Love] and other relatives, Macon, Illinois, 1927
  • Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's parents, Edward and Margaret Love Howard, Macon, Illinois, 1927
  • Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux with her great-grandmother, 1930
  • Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's mother, Margaret Love Howard, 1927
  • Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux, Cairo, Illinois, 1929
  • Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux, 1989
  • Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux, ca. 1946
  • Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux, 1945
  • Tape: 5 Story: 25 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's brother, William Howard, ca. 1942
  • Tape: 5 Story: 26 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's mother, Margaret Love Howard, 1975
  • Tape: 5 Story: 27 - Photo - Jolyn Robichaux's parents, Edward and Margaret Love Howard, ca. 1930