THE EARLY YEARS
Our story begins with a few interesting words: unconventional, creative, delicious, harmonious, fusion, trio, and passion… words that inspire thoughts of music, as well as food, and words that have been used repeatedly over the years to describe Peppo’s, particularly its unique food and business culture. And for good reason. Peppo’s was founded by a trio of Jazz players! The time was 1976, and the place was rural, southwest suburban Chicago, where three members of a Jazz band decided to give rise to a dream.
Bands of another sort—off-road motorcyclists—were the market at that time, who, including the three partners, would meet to ride together along the trails and open fields in the area. The problem was, there was no place to eat after a demanding and dusty day’s ride, and Peppo and his partners seized upon an opportunity.
The goal was to satisfy unusually large appetites, but also to try to combine a salad and a sandwich into one, using a secret recipe for the toppings, origins of which remain undisclosed. The result was a simple numbered menu of meat and cheese combinations, topped with something called GUTS, which was then and continues to be the core of the Peppo’s product and business, and serves to represent the double meaning of innards and competitive spirit—the latter of which most certainly represents the passions of Peppo and his partners.