It all began out West in the state of California. While living in Santa Ana, Leo worked as a dishwasher for two years and a cook for ten years. During his time as a cook, he worked for a barbecue restaurant and catered several times to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch and to the Soul Train Awards. He had the chance to meet both Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson.
After several years in the Golden State, some family friends suggested that he should open his own Mexican restaurant. Leo moved around the country to find the perfect location to open his first restaurant. Finally in 2001, he decided to open the first Rodeo Mexican Restaurant in the southern city of Valdosta. The first year was very difficult. No one knew of the new Mexican restaurant in town. Fortunately, after the first year, things started to become better. Customers started to notice the new restaurant in town and regulars started to become established.
In 2003, he decided to expand Rodeo to the lovely city of Waycross. After a year of success in Waycross, Rodeo expanded to the beautiful town of Lake Park. For the next five years, Leo decided to focus on the three restaurants until in 2009 Leo opened the last Rodeo in the pleasant city of Hinesville. Since the beginning in 2001, Rodeo has been greatly blessed with success. Since its opening, the Valdosta location has won Best Mexican Restaurant 14 times. The Hinesville location has won Best Mexican Restaurant 5 times.
When asked if he will open other locations, Leo’s answer is a simple “no.” He wants to maintain the Rodeos as a welcoming family restaurant. Currently, Leo lives in Valdosta with his wife and three children. In his free time, he enjoys exercising and relaxing at his farm. On behalf of Leo and the Rodeo family, we hope to see you at one of our locations and become part of the family.