Zachary Wallace is intertwining his passion for both food and music to grow in the business realm.
Andscape reports Wallace was a contributing songwriter for some of the culture’s classic hits, which include songs such as “Goodies” and “Get It Shawty.” His pen has also led to him working with artists Nelly, CeeLo Green, and Jeezy.
Nowadays, Wallace’s musical preferences are linked to the enjoyment of a delicious meals at his Atlanta, GA, restaurant. As the founder of Local Green, Wallace offers menu items such as 3 Stack Cauliflower Tacos commemorating André 3000, and even sandwiches in honor of albums released by T.I. and Hip-Hop group Goodie Mob.
His transition into the food industry can best be explained as a personal awakening to prioritize his health. While he was living big in Atlanta, racking up publishing checks and platinum plaques, Wallace was also neglecting his health and putting on weight. He would spend many late nights at the club or studio and enjoyed whatever foods were in his vicinity, he shared with the outlet.
An additional catalyst would be the loss of two of his brothers and his mother-in-law.
“Death inspired me to eat better,” Wallace told Andscape. “Losing my mother-in-law before I got to meet her. I lost my younger brother before he turned 35. Losing my other older brother at 51. Losing village mothers in their 60s. Ladies who raised us, living very safe lives, dying over food.”
Before becoming a restaurant owner, Wallace developed better health habits including exercising and refraining from fried foods. He then began cooking up healthy tacos and making fresh juices, and in no time he was serving his family and friends from his mother’s kitchen, breathing life into Local Green.
“Initially, he came home and he said, ‘Look, I want y’all to drink almond milk,’” his wife and business partner, Robyn, told Andscape. “Then he just started making tacos, using avocados and he bought a juicer. Over time, he literally transitioned our house.”
Wallace invested $5,000 in the early stages of Local Green, and he transitioned from his mother’s kitchen to the Good Samaritan Health Center. By 2017, he was able to expand the plant-based business into a food truck before opening a brick-and-mortar store two years later, and the community has rallied behind him ever since.
“Having Local Green here gives me a beacon that I can point to in that someone that grew up in the neighborhood, with the same lack that our children now is missing…, has decided to change his life and do a healthy food option,” said Vine City resident Byron Amos, who represents District 3 on the Atlanta City Council, per Andscape. “How he cleans the front of the store, how he makes sure that the streets around the building are clean, how he pours into his employees. People begin to take ownership of not only the store but the community around it as well.”