SYCAMORE — After nearly 35 years of success selling popcorn at their stand in downtown Sycamore, Troy and Cassie Oltman are opening a new café right down the block.
Cassie’s Corn Crib Café, 124 S. Maple St., is set to open Tuesday, Feb. 20. The restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
The café will serve a variety of breakfast items, pastries and desserts. Cassie Oltman said all the food will be made in-house and she hopes to provide customers with a cozy atmosphere.
“We’re trying to keep everything homemade,” she said. “We just want people to be comfortable. We want people to come here and know they’re getting a home-cooked meal.
“This isn’t something available at your local drive-through. We’re trying to keep it a little different from the rest of the people in town.”
Troy Oltman, 56, and wife Cassie, 52, purchased the building two years ago. They originally planned to open the cafe last May, however, they ran into a few "bumps along the road," according to Cassie.
The building needed everything from water to heating to flooring, Troy Oltman said.
“When we got this building, there were dirt floors,” he said. “I had to dig five feet all around by hand. It took a little bit longer than we thought. Doing it on the sides and nights. ... There were a few different things that held us up but now we’re ready to go. We’re very excited.”
Cassie’s Corn Crib Café boasts a rustic barn setting. The Oltmans also wanted to keep part of the building’s history with the new café, so they bought a traditional sewing machine that will be on display inside the restaurant – a tailor and shoe shop occupied the space nearly a decade ago.
The café also will sell Cassie’s Popcorn year-round, whereas the stand, located at 200 W. State St., is open for the summer and select times during the holiday season.
Cassie’s Popcorn stand sells the classic white, caramel and cheese varieties, a “crazy corn” blend of all three, the “Sycamore style” blend of caramel and cheese, cotton candy flavored popcorn, kettle corn, and regular or caramel popcorn balls.
Cassie predicts the café’s breakfast casseroles will be a hit among customers.
“They’re like breakfast bombs with scrambled eggs and sausage and cheese inside,” she said. “It’s kind of like a hot pocket bowl but homemade. It’s very good.”
Cassie’s Corn Crib Café will host a soft opening Sunday for family and friends before officially opening to the public on Feb. 20. Cassie said the café can seat about 30 people.
“I hope we have a lot of followers from the popcorn," she said. "I think we’ll be very good to the community.”