The Detroit Pepper Co. Opens on the East Side, Offers Peppers, Bowls, Smoothies

The Detroit Pepper Co., a carryout restaurant specializing in smoothies and bell pepper-based dishes, hosted its grand opening today at its location at 17180 E. Warren on the east side of Detroit.

By Grace Turner -November 4, 2019

Marlin Hughes
Marlin Hughes, owner and operator of The Detroit Pepper Co., has opened his restaurant in Detroit’s East Warren neighborhood. // Photo courtesy of The Detroit Pepper Co.

The Detroit Pepper Co., a carryout restaurant specializing in smoothies and bell pepper-based dishes, hosted its grand opening today at its location at 17180 E. Warren on the east side of Detroit.

Menu items at the location will include stuffed bell peppers, pepper salads, and grain bowls aimed at health-conscious customers. The company is a recipient of a Motor City Match grant.

Marlin Hughes, owner and operator, thought of the idea for the restaurant after family and friends enjoyed stuffed peppers he served at a gathering nearly eight years ago. It coincided with Hughes’ lifestyle and dietary changes as well as a desire for a place that he and his son, who has autism, could share.

“My son is my driving force. He provides the energy and inspiration I need for my everyday life and especially for this restaurant, where we both work,” says Hughes.

The location’s signature Detroit Stuffed Pepper is filled with garlic, rice, and black beans in a red sauce. It can be prepared with ground beef or turkey and a choice of cheese – cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or vegan mozzarella. The pepper is also available in a vegan option that includes diced tomatoes, squash, carrots, other vegetables, and vegan cheese.

Order options include single, meal, and family servings. Mixed grains; roasted potato medley; braised mixed greens; fresh mixed fruit; and lentil bean, pepper veggie, or vegan chili soups are available sides.

“It’s invigorating to be one of many entrepreneurs taking part in restoring East Warren into the thriving, walkable business district it once was and improving the quality of life for its residents,” says Hughes. “Our food will draw people who live and work in this neighborhood, but also from nearby communities and beyond. The stuffed peppers and smoothies are a healthy option for those looking for a fast, nutritious meal on the go or to serve to their families on any given day of the week.”

Inside-out pepper, taco salad, and jerk lentil grain bowls include quinoa rice, vegetables, and seasonings. The menu also includes smoothies and ginger lemonade that include fresh, organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Salads include greens, other vegetables, and peppers.

Hughes worked with TechTown Detroit’s SWOT City, a program that provides one-on-one assistance to help launch, stabilize, and grow local businesses and strengthen neighborhood commercial districts.

“The Detroit Pepper Co. is another example of how the Motor City Match program is helping longtime Detroiters realize their dreams of owning their own business,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “When we see entrepreneurs like Mr. Hughes turning a talent into a business, more Detroiters will see that it can be possible for them as well.”

Hours for the Detroit Pepper Co. are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. More information is available here.

Detroit Pepper Company’s healthy menu is stuffed with flavor

The new east-side carryout operation has fresh, hearty cuisine for vegans and carnivores

Melody Baetens The Detroit News

Growing up, stuffed bell peppers were a staple at the family dinner table, so I’m always reminded of my childhood when I occasionally see them on menus around town. 

Mom would simmer the massive green vegetables in an electric frying pan, after packing them with seasoned ground beef, stretched with a little white rice, and smothered in a shiny and fragrant tomato sauce. 

A vegan stuffed pepper with cheddar cheese, a ground chicken with pepper jack and ground beef with mozzarella from Detroit Pepper Co.

Now, Detroit has an entire kitchen dedicated to stuffed peppers, the Detroit Pepper Co. Chef Marlin Hughes opened his carryout-only spot in late 2019 on Detroit’s east side on E. Warren near Cadieux. 

With choices for stuffings and melted cheese toppings, the customizable dish travels well in the eco-friendly containers. 

The sturdy red, green and yellow bell peppers — he makes stuffed jalapeño, too — are served cut long ways and crammed with healthful brown rice, black beans and either ground beef, turkey, chicken or jackfruit, a large tropical fruit that has insides that are a similar consistency to that of shredded meat.

The textures of the stuffing, plus peppers that are baked to be warm and soft but still crisp and a thick layer of melted cheese on top, make these a hearty, homestyle dish that you don’t have to feel guilty about scarfing down. 

A vegan offering is similar, with brown rice, black beans, quinoa, squash, zucchini and seasoned with his own blend of fantastic seasonings. Hughes has vegan cheese if you want the same melt-y experience as the non-vegan peppers. 

The taco salad grain bowl from Detroit Pepper Company has quinoa, brown rice, vegetables and taco seasoning. Order it vegan or add meat and cheese.

Hughes, who is vegan himself, came up with the idea to open a stuffed peppers business a few years ago when he made them for his wife’s birthday party. Besides the peppers, Huges’ menu also has smoothies, grain bowls, salads, soups, a bean burger and a dish called Detroit Chili Cheese Fry with hand-cut roasted potatoes with the vegan house chili, onions and choice of cheese. 

f you’re quarantine carryouts have been on the pizza-and-burgers side, I recommend Detroit Pepper Co. for a healthy break from the usual. They’re open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tues.-Sat. and closed Sunday and Monday. 

Detroit Pepper Company is at 17180 E. Warren in Detroit. Order at the counter or call ahead, (313) 469-7640. Visit to view the daily and catering menus. 

The Detroit Pepper Company's menu has stuffed peppers, salads, soups and smoothies.