Despite its reputation for being diverse, One World Cafe wasn’t always the restaurant that Peoria knows it to be today.
One of the owners, Amy Eid, said her husband and his brothers originally opened the business as a coffee shop that also sold other materials such as jewelry and rugs. Appropriately, the original shop was named “Coffee and Cargo.”
“They didn’t have it exactly in mind what their intentions for this business was,” Eid said. “They opened something up, and then they really listened to what their customers told them, what Peoria told them.”
Eid said as more customers wanted different things from the business, One World evolved from a coffee shop into today’s model.
“It has evolved in a way that is really organic and natural as far as what customers are telling us that they need,” Eid said.
After establishing the business as a full restaurant, the owners focused on providing a dining experience that was well-rounded and fit a variety of needs.
“There is something for everyone,” Eid said. “The most clear visual representation of that is our menu; it has flavors from all over the globe. We really pride ourselves on that there is something for every dietary concern or any flavor. You can find something that suits your desires, whether it’s vegetarian or vegan, but we also have burgers and pizzas.”
Eid said having this kind of diversity in their restaurant ensures their customers will have a welcoming and fulfilling experience.
Eid said this welcoming atmosphere is accomplished not only through the food and ambiance One World provides, but also through the employees.
“We have an open policy [for employees] of tattoos and piercings,” Eid said. “But [that’s] not a requirement to work here, it’s just that we want our employees to be who they are. But it’s not exclusively that way. We have employees that are ‘mainstream’ or not edgy and alternative. We are just really open to all the people that are looking to help achieve our mission.”
According to Eid, customers come from all different parts of Illinois and the country. She also said One World has become a Peoria staple because of the care it provides customers.
“We have to take care of our customers; we have to take care of our guests,” Eid said. “If we do that and we prioritize that, everything else will fall in line.”
In addition to providing customers with a unique experience, One World strives to promote diversity through its menu items. While there isn’t a formal process when deciding to put things on their menu, Eid said their executive chef Joel Brooks provides a lot of great options when they develop their menu.
“He is classically trained in culinary art,” Eid said. “So, he has all of the expertise and all of the skills. But, what is amazing about him is that he has a really great vision of finding [menu options].”
Eid said if any of the owners are trying to develop a menu item or capture a certain flavor, they consult Brooks to perfect their ideas. Other food inspiration comes from personal travels or magazines the owners read, according to Eid.
Customers can enjoy a wide variety of foods that One World has to offer. House favorites include the Cuban Pork or their pita and hummus.
“[The Cuban Pork] is kind of what we are most recognized for and the pizza [version] is also really taking over,” Eid said. “The hummus is also a huge one, which we home make every day.”
In addition to the kitchen that is on the main level of the restaurant, One World has a full prep kitchen in its basement, where a full team of staff works to make the items, like hummus, that must be made fresh every day.
Eid said it is important for One World to serve fresh, home-cooked food because that provides the best service and experience.
“Taking care of our guests means offering a quality product that we are proud of and can stand behind,” Eid said.