GLEN ELLYN – Downtown Glen Ellyn is offering a twist on an American classic.
Peanut Butter Planet, which opened Monday at 546 Crescent Blvd., serves various peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made with all-natural ingredients that are a healthier option for parents and children alike.
The restaurant is owned by Glen Ellyn residents Frank Pecora and Larry Hanson.
After about 30 years in the housewares and lawn and garden business, Pecora was looking to do something different. Hanson had been toying with the idea of opening a restaurant focused on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so he turned to Pecora.
The pair settled on downtown Glen Ellyn as an ideal location because it’s their hometown. The spot along Crescent Boulevard puts them near the train station and in proximity to Glenbard West High School traffic, Pecora said.
Although Hanson and Pecora have experienced some bumps along the road to opening – including a lost shipment of furniture – Peanut Butter Planet is finally ready to get down to business.
“It really has been a labor of love,” Pecora said.
The sandwich shop will offer 12 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with various ingredients, ranging from the classic creamy or crunchy peanut butter to butter toffee, mocha and cinnamon butters. Organic almond and sunflower butters also will be available.
There’s plenty of variety for the jelly portion of the sandwiches as well, with grape jelly, strawberry, raspberry or blueberry preserves and orange marmalade featured on the menu. Other fruits are expected to be added seasonally.
No sandwich is complete without the bread, and Peanut Butter Planet has something for everyone, from classic white to ciabatta to gluten-free varieties.
The restaurant also features beverages, breakfast and kids’ options.
While some of the recipes are tried and true, others were developed with the help of consulting chefs, Pecora said.
Deciding on the sandwich ingredients was only half the fun, however. The owners still had to name them.
With identifiers such as Nuttin’ But a Hound Dog, Berry White and Domo Arigato Mr. Ciabatta, the sandwiches are sure to attract some attention.
“We really want to have fun with it,” Pecora said.
Executive Director of the Alliance of Downtown Glen Ellyn Carol White said the restaurant offers something both quirky and comfortable to the community.
“Who doesn’t love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” White said.
To help with interior and exterior work, Peanut Butter Planet will receive grants from the village of Glen Ellyn because it is making improvements to its site that add value to the downtown business area.
Pecora hopes to contribute to the community by hosting benefits for organizations such as Children’s Oncology Services and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
So far, Glen Ellyn residents are responding positively to the restaurant, Pecora said. On Friday, at least one family stopped by Peanut Butter Planet to see if it had opened.
“Everyone’s really gotten into it,” he said. “It’s been so rewarding and fun.”
Peanut Butter Planet
Where: 546 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn
Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (call ahead for schedule changes)