All great places have one thing in common: great people.

The plan for Cody Scogin was always to live in a big city culinary scene. He grew up in Peoria neighbor, Mackinaw, but his fiery passion for food burned a path of discovery around the world. From Chicago to Australia, soaking up knowledge of cuisines and perfecting his skills as a chef.

But it was in California, a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica—while savoring his perfected sourdough recipe—where Cody had a vision for something more. He wanted to open his own farm-to-table restaurant. But he wanted to do it new. And he wanted to do it different.

“I cook from the soul,” he says, matter-of-fact. “If I was going to do this, I wanted to be a place that really felt like home.”

Stars aligned. When Cody ended up back in Greater Peoria, he opened Ardor Breads and Provisions, an elevated dining experience that specializes in breads and pastries. It’s already became a local staple, and he cannot quite believe just how fast his business has already grown — or how fast the community came out to support it.

“I cook from the soul. If I was going to do this, I wanted to be a place that really felt like home.”

“I don’t know if Ardor would exist in a lot of other places,” Cody says. “Pushing the envelope and trying to promote change and progress? That usually comes with resistance.”

He says it all goes back to the community support that — according to him and Peoria small business owners like him — you can’t get anywhere else. It’s a place, he thinks, where people can try something new or pursue their passion.

In addition to running the restaurant, or harvesting his garden, he spends time with his family. Now living in Greater Peoria (with more than a one-bedroom apartment), Cody can finds the best of both worlds between passion and pace. “It’s little things,” he says, taking a break from Ardor’s buzz in the quiet of his backyard. “It’s simple. The things in big cities that you just don’t get.”

Learn more about Ardor or make a reservation here:

Greater Peoria Q&A with Cody Scogin

Greater Peoria in One WordApproachable

People of Greater Peoria in One WordSupportive

If Greater Peoria Had a Tagline“Together, we’re better.”

Favorite Annual EventSt. Patrick’s Day

Piece of Advice for Someone Moving Here“If you’re trying to promote change, hang in there. People will come around.”


Check out the stories of those who chose more in Greater Peoria.