T.J.’s First Pizza

As I recall, it was late Summer 1968. “T.J.” had acquired an old brick two story building on the corner of Bellefontaine and Harrison Ave., across from Lima Stadium. After some remodeling and installation of the ovens and other equipment, the young entrepreneur was ready to launch his new career. But first, he had to patent the formula for his new product. That’s where I came in. Having acquired a reputation as a pizza gourmet as a “Ginny Pig” for my older sister’s homemade Pillsbury creations, T.J. asked me to sample one of his various offerings in order to come up with a winner. I rounded up a group of “Judges” and spent a Saturday afternoon watching T.J. make & bake, while sampling his unique recipes. I believe we cleansed our palates between pies with Pabst Blue Ribbon or Blatz, and finally reached a consensus… and the rest is History!

As always your good friend, ‘LA’ Davis

In 1968 Tom “TJ” Askins and his Mother, Leota Askins, opened the doors of TJs Pizza, located on the corner of Bellefontaine and Harrison right across from Lima Football Stadium for business. How did Tom come up with the name? The name TJs came from the first letter of Tom’s name and his middle name J and the rest is history! The key features were pizza and beverages served with a smile.

TJ's Pizza Original Location

As business grew, TJ decided to open more locations. The next location was opened in 1974 at 4250 Elida Road as a pizza carryout with beverages, subs, chicken, and other convenient store items.

In 1977, TJ married Marilyn Walter. Time marched on with the addition of five children to the family. TJ wanted to spend
more time with his family, so we narrowed it down to the one store on Elida Road.

TJ's Pizza second location on Elida Road

The age of the building, over 100 years, didn’t allow for improvements, so in 1997 we moved to 2390 Baty Road, a great location with the ease of either walking in or using our drive-up window. This is where we are currently in business, constantly changing and improving the menu to meet the needs of our customers. We can’t go on without mentioning that all along the way we have always made our own pizza dough keeping the crust tasty.


2023 marks our 55th Anniversary in the pizza business. Our success is due in part to our great family of employees, past and present. Their diligent efforts helping us along the way is deeply appreciated. We are grateful to our loyal customers for the 5-star rating on Facebook.

Over 55 Years doing business

It has always been our goal to take care of our customers by providing high quality pizza. In closing, we would like to thank all our many customers through the years, who are part of our pizza family, for your enduring friendship. It has been and will continue to be our great pleasure to serve you.

TJ and John at TJ's Pizza