Her husband, Joseph, had been an executive at the Chicago-based Wanzer Milk Company and bought Baldwin in 1967. Upon his sudden death from leukemia in 1971, Jolyn decided to take over as president. “Why should I waste my time [looking for a replacement]?” she said. “I’ll just do it myself.” Over her more than twenty years heading the company, sales increased at least twelve-fold, according to her accounting.
Baldwin Ice Cream had been around for half a century by the time Robichaux took over. In 1921, seven African American postal workers joined together to open an ice cream parlor at 53rd and State Streets in Washington Park, naming their shop Seven Links Ice Cream. By the 1940s they had seven locations throughout the South Side, and, despite the aptness of their name, had rebranded as the Service Links Ice Cream Company. In 1946, Kit Baldwin, one of the founders, bought out his partners and named the company after himself.