Meet Jacob Thiessen, Owner and Executive Chef at the Hub Café (

Tell us a little about your business. – The Hub Café is a farm-to-fork breakfast, brunch, and lunch café located close to downtown Lincoln since 2016, which sits on the convergence of many city bicycle trails overlooking the Antelope Valley. One of our main missions is seeking and maintaining relationships with small farmers and local growers in the area whenever possible to source the primary ingredients for our chef-driven dishes. We also value community partnerships and strive to be a hub for community members to gather, whether it be through our weekly Wednesday night Farmers Market (May through October), our monthly summer concert series, Hub & Soul, or through our support of various organizations that are dedicated to bicycling, sustainability, women’s entrepreneurship, small farming and other community-minded endeavors. This winter, we introduced our new Friday night Pizza & Pints night, with our pizza and small bites menu rotating monthly.

How did you get started in the business? – I started working in restaurants as a teenager and moved into kitchen management in my 20s while living in Missouri. We moved to Japan for three years and I ran the kitchen for an Aussie-run restaurant, so that was a great experience working with ex-pats and with local Japanese service industry folks, as well as in broadening my range within my cooking repertoire, from Japanese to Southeast Asian to Australian bar and comfort foods. I moved to Lincoln in 2011 and began working for my cousins’ bakery, Le Quartier, eventually becoming the head baker there. In 2016, I left Le Quartier to start on with Doug and Krista Dittman at their new farm-to-table café as the Sous Chef and became the Executive Chef in 2018. We purchased the Hub in July of 2023 and have been enjoying running the restaurant our own and putting our own mark on the place.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – For someone who had to work his way up through the industry without a culinary degree, it did take longer to get to where I am today. While that was definitely a challenge in and of itself, that longer journey provided me with experiences, connections and skill-building that I wouldn’t trade for one that might have been a little faster with that certified piece of paper.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Definitely being able to finally purchase and own my own restaurant!

Tell us a little about your family. – My wife (and co-owner), Crystal, teaches English as a second language at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and trains English language teachers abroad as a contracted English Language Specialist for the State Department. Since taking over the Hub, she also is the contact for events and space rental and does work on the back end for ordering and invoicing. She loves art, photography and traveling (has visited 53 countries), so she has been able to put her mark on the Hub as well.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – Living and working in Japan for three years was a big turning point in my life in many ways. Personally, I was challenged everyday navigating the culture and language, yet it was so rewarding as I met people and gained perspectives I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Professionally, I got to work with some incredible people from all over the world and cook with ingredients and in ways I have never done before, which pushed me to take more chances with dishes and flavor profiles.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? | @HubCafeLincoln