ANDERSON — L.A. gives all the credit for his success to God.
Leon Allen, known by his initials L.A., was working at General Motors in Atlanta, Georgia, when he made a salad for his lunch.
A co-worker noticed and asked where he got it from. When he explained he made it himself she asked him to bring her one the next day.
“That was history, because after that she told everybody,” Allen said.
Pretty soon he had a thriving side business. Then the factory closed, so he returned to Anderson where he was known in his youth as a performer singing and dancing.
Back home, his business, L.A.’s Pizzas & Salads, took off.
He credits God for his skill in the kitchen.
“Nothing but God. He puts certain talents on you that you don’t know you have and that’s what happened,” Allen said.
Customers can find him by searching for his Facebook page Lanth LA or by calling him at 765-610-4488. He’ll deliver or you can come to him and he also can be hired to cater events, he said.
On Facebook you’ll find a menu and pictures of his salads, pizzas and his best seller, smoked turkey legs.
The turkey legs are his Friday special and he credits their price, $5, for their popularity. For that price you get a turkey leg, bread and barbecue sauce.
Allen also cooks his pizza on a grill, an idea he says he received from God.
He wanted to sell pizzas at an event at Jackson Park but couldn’t bring an oven.
“That green light went off in my brain and he (God) said put it on the grill,” Allen said.
“I experimented on it, and man, it was the best thing I ever did.”
His blessings don’t stop there, he said. He’s been working on location by bringing his grill to catering jobs and events or working out of his home. In February, he was ready to get a location for a carryout business.
He found a location and was ready to sign when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“I’m glad I didn’t sign on the dotted line, because I would have been done before I started,” he said.
“I’m blessed, that’s why I say God is so good.”
When things return to normal he plans to go forward with a carryout location.
But his bigger goal is to help feed the needy in the community by setting up his grill and giving away free meals to those in need.
“I mean, my business is cool, it’s lucrative, everybody buys from me, but I just want to give back to the needy,” Allen said.
“If I can do that one day – just set up shop somewhere outside with my grill and just the needy come in and eat for free – that’s really what I want to do.”