Sheridan business owner steps out on her own

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 10, 2003

SHERIDAN - Leah Blake didn't let a divorce bounce her out of the pizza business.

Blake, a Chesapeake resident, was once married to the owner of a successful Huntington, W.Va., pizza chain. In April, not very long after her divorce, she opened her own restaurant, Leah's Pizza, along County Road 1 in Sheridan.

"I hope it will take off big," she said. "I'm hoping for franchises, and if those do well, I'm hoping to open several more."

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The small pizza place offers, of course, pizza, but a varied menu that includes cheeseburgers. The store, which employs five people so far, has two delivery drivers, delivering mostly to the South Point area, but occasionally to areas such as Ashland, Ky.

The difference between Blake's pizza and pizza at large chain shops is that more ingredients, such as the sauce, are made from scratch. Larger places tend to have more frozen ones, she said.

Blake chose to locate her business in Sheridan because of its small town atmosphere.

"It's a nice little village, and you see the same faces. It's a nice little area down there."

Even though most of her customers are local, Blake's restaurant has attracted customers from all over the Tri-State, she said.

Angie Rose, one of the cooks, has been working at Leah's since May, but worked with Blake at one of her ex-husband's Huntington stores for two years.

"There's nothing I could ask for that she wouldn't do or try her best to do," Rose said. "I had an emergency with my daughter, and she came in and worked for me. She's great."

"If we have to take off suddenly, it's no problem," said employee Theresa Taylor. "She's really good to us."