In 2005, local restauranteur Travis Mohlenbrink started Cracked Pepper exclusively as a catering business. Due to popular demand, within two years, he had opened the first Cracked Pepper Bakery & Café, with a second location following three years later. Over the next seven years, Mohlenbrink continued to expand his culinary footprint, developing 5 more restaurant concepts, including Cayenne, Sugar, and Thyme.
When Stan’s Liquors closed their doors in 2016, Mohlenbrink took advantage of the opportunity to move Cracked Pepper’s primary location into the larger, centrally-located space (with more parking). With a fresh new look and increased menu, the new Cracked Pepper Café looks to situate itself as a Central Illinois favorite.