RJ’s Metropolitan Ice Cream Co. makes Michigan’s Best Small Businesses list

Turning tragedy into something special
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:55 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - Yvette and Robert Wilkie, owners of RJ’s Metropolitan Ice Cream Company in Jackson, are being recognized for their hard work and involvement in the community.

RJ’s Metropolitan Ice Cream Company was named one of Michigan’s best small businesses by Michigan Celebrates Small Business.

Yvette and Robert Wilkie opened their business in 2014 in honor of their son Robert Junior, who died at birth.

“I turned my pain into purpose so now I feel like I can help other moms and other people get past a hard place that they may be going through in life,” said Yvette Wilkie.

The Wilkies are very involved in the community, which is one of the reasons they were selected for the small business award. They work with minority-owned businesses in the city of Jackson, hoping to share their secret to success.

“You know this is a small community we all know each other so if there’s anything we can do to help somebody else I think that’s what you’re supposed to do,” said Robert Wilkie.

The couple founded the Black Excellence Award Banquet, an event that helps celebrate Black-owned businesses that may be overlooked.

“You know you can see people like you and it gives you hope that you can accomplish other things. So it’s important to us to just show and be that example of what’s possible,” said Yvette Wilkie.

Robert and Yvette Wilkie will be accepting their award at the annual Michigan Celebrates Small Businesses Awards Gala. The event will be held at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center May 2.

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