Karim Shamsi-Basha for Alabama News Center
Jimmy Rogers knows how to get people to remember him.
He feeds them!
When I was in Mentone recently asking about people who help the community, everyone mentioned Rogers at the Green Leaf Grill. Then I met the man, and it became clear why all recognized him. It wasn’t only his food, it was his enthusiasm about life and about doing what he could.
“What we do here is take care of our fireman and policemen, wherever you’re from. We give them a 20% discount. Veterans eat free on Veterans Day and so do the widows of the veterans. They also get a 20% discount every day. We also provide a free lunch to the seniors at the MERF (Mentone Educational Resources Foundation) Home once a month,” Rogers said.
No wonder everyone knew Rogers. He also opens his restaurant for a potluck dinner every Christmas. Green Leaf Grill is nestled in the middle of the artist colony in the picturesque mountain town.
“A lot of people like me don’t have much family left on the holidays, you know the way it used to be when you were younger. I decided to open the restaurant for a potluck where everyone could bring one dish. Not only was it easier on everyone but I also got to taste some amazing food,” Rogers said, “But you know what the real reason was? Everyone sat together and felt like family. And you don’t even have to bring a dish, just come and be a part of the family.”
That feeling of family and community is what Rogers seeks with his service and discounts and potluck diners. He never forgot his youth when food was an integral part of his life.
“I grew up in a family where all we did was cook. We eat and we cook, that was the entire essence of the family. I loved eating out at the local spots when I traveled and I really fell in love with food. Now I get to help my community with food,” Rogers said, “I wanted to bring back to Mentone what I had learned about food; fresh, simple.”
Most restaurant owners have no time, or budget, to give their food away like Rogers. I asked him why he helps the police and firefighters, why he assists the veterans and their widows, and why he gives away so much food.
“I like to see the smile on people’s faces. It makes me happy to see people come in and have that experience, to enjoy a meal, made fresh and as local as I can get it. Just the satisfaction I get from seeing their smile. That’s why I do it.”
Jimmy Rogers feeds Mentone - good, down-home, Southern food, plus a dose of a helping hand.
For more information visit the Green Leaf Grill website.