A nice distraction from school

English teacher creates crepe business that becomes a success


Photo Courtesy of James Grachek

Grachek starts making his crepes at the Dandelion pop-up on 13th and Howard. “Downtown gets busy during brunch. Last weekend in one day we sold about 60 crepes. I don’t know what Millard Days will look like. It’s sort of like fair food and we have competition with basic fried food.”

Jacob Hargens, Staff Reporter

When summer ends, it’s always a sign of losing your free time that was once available. One exception to this is English teacher James Grachek, who recently started his own crepe business and is still going strong on top of being a teacher.

Grachek has only been in the crepe business since March of 2021 and already his business, La Crêperie d’Omaha, has been traveling around Omaha in the form of catering and direct delivery.

Before starting his business, Grachek used to have a lot of free time for doing his own activities and hobbies such as gardening and playing video games. Not to mention Grachek has also had two kids recently, making his life full of work between his kids, the crepe business, and teaching.

“Making crepes is a lot of work,” Grachek said. “It’s basically another job, well it is. It’s a business. Now, I just work on my crepe business. That’s been dominating my time for a while. I also traveled to the pacific northwest and visited my grandparents in Florida.”

Grachek realized after starting his business that he should try new things and encourage others to do so as well. This became the new big hobby for Grachek after only a couple months and it’s still growing.

“We are working on expanding to a food truck,” Grachek said. “We will start working at the Dandelion pop-up on 13th and Howard. We plan on making more food as well and opening more food trucks, like a mobile café that could be out this winter. We’ve also got a menu being designed for a burger food truck called Babylon Burger. I have another called the Witty Griddle.”

But Grachek is not alone in the journey of French cuisine, as he has started hiring new people which has helped the business grow and sell crepes faster. 

“I handled taking orders and payments while preparing and giving out drinks,” Dandelion employee Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla said. “I passed the orders down the line to the chefs while he prepped and made the crepes. My experience working with him went very well, as a chef he was easy to work with. Dandelion seems to get busy at times but the rush was manageable.”

Grachek says the reason he chose crepes was because there is not a lot of competition. The competition Grachek has to worry about is mostly fried food at fairs, but the reception for the crepes have been a success.

“Le Creperie Omaha has the best crepes,” English teacher Marilyn Kerkhove said. “My husband and I enjoyed a savory crepe, plus a sweet crepe and they were both absolutely delicious.”

The success of La Crêperie d’Omaha is not an end for Grachek’s teaching career, he still plans on staying as a teacher. The success has also helped Grachek start going to different places around Omaha and sell crepes, one of these places being the upcoming Millard Days. To get your own crepes, you can go to OmahaCrepes.com.