Welcome to BIG BIG table!
Big Big Table Community Café is a lunchtime restaurant open to EVERYBODY!
We are focused on serving delicious, nutritious, meals while at the same time championing healthy, local food options, addressing food insecurity, reducing food waste, and supporting community.
An awesome WNY family helps out at Big Big Table.
At a traditional restaurant, a guest is asked to exchange money for their meal. At Big Big Table, guests are invited to exchange money, time, or groceries in exchange for their meal. Our pay-as-you-can model strives to promote healthy individuals and communities.
Big Big Table Community Café, Inc. is a member of
At Big Big Table, Everybody has a chance to give what they can to get what they need!
The number one goal of Big Big Table is to feed everyone who walks through the door. Around the United States, Community Cafés provide a dignified response to hunger, increasing access to healthy food and improving food security for everyone, especially the most vulnerable, in our community.
The restaurant menu has a suggested donation amount. Some will pay more, some will pay less. Others provide non-financial contributions, including volunteering their time or bringing groceries to help us achieve our mission while also validating that Everybody has a contribution to make.
Big Big Table StafF
Big Big Table's café team is an incredibly talented group of compassionate and
community-minded administration, staff, and volunteers.
Community & Operations Director
First and foremost, Maddie is incredibly thrilled and honored to be a part of the amazing BBT team and community!
Maddie brings a unique blend of professional and practical experience to her role as Community & Operations Director. She is a proud AmeriCorps alum and devoted nonprofit professional. After earning her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago, Maddie has dedicated herself to community-led initiatives and engagement. She's been a part of Math Circles of Chicago, a nonprofit providing math enrichment to Chicago’s youth, and served as a construction site supervisor with Habitat for Humanity Buffalo.
When she’s not working, Maddie can usually be found hiking with her partner, Carly, and their two wonderful dogs. She loves to play guitar and piano and sing showtunes way too late into the evening on weekends.
Her desire to see Buffalo thrive is genuine, and she's committed to Big Big Table’s mission of serving nutritious meals and addressing food insecurity. Maddie believes in the power of healthy individuals and communities and is determined to make a positive impact in her beloved city. Maddie brings a warm, down-to-earth, and compassionate approach to her work. She hopes to bring people together and to help create a brighter future for Buffalo.
Chef & Kitchen Manager
After leaving the mysterious and lucrative life of a pre-school teacher, Theresa decided to completely switch careers, go back to school, and become a pastry chef. After graduating from Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Theresa has held glamourous and dangerous baking jobs around the city of Buffalo before joining the BBT team in October of 2021. She is able to cook and bake and kitchen manage and dish wash and coffee drink and laugh every day. It also gives her time to perfect her sweet ninja moves. Big Big Table has given her the opportunity to bring together what she is most passionate about; food and helping others. Theresa’s love of baking comes from her family; without family, she wouldn’t be who she is today. She loves to share her recipes and traditions as well as learn about new ones.
When she isn't at Big Big Table, she is often seen having dance parties or lightsaber battles with her 6-year-old Star Wars enthusiast son, Nathan, and her 5-time D&D National Champion husband, Matt. They are her heart. She loves all things having to do with baking, the Buffalo Bills, the New York Mets, The Barenaked Ladies, Harry Potter (Hufflepuff), Doctor Who, all things Scotland, good coffee, reading, Ada & Barnum, her extended family whether by blood or by love, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson movies, and of course, bread. She absolutely will bring a veggie tray.
Julie joined the Big Big Table team as we always imagined a new teammate would -- by being a regular volunteer first! A plant-based chef, cooking allows Julie to combine her background in health and environmental psychology with her love of food. Her education in the social and physical aspects of the environment that affect well-being has led to a current interest in the role that access to healthy, tasty, fresh food can play in the creation and maintenance of a supportive environment.
In addition to being an incredible cook, Julie is also an exceptional mom to two incredible young people (hi young people!) and a partner to a great guy named Mike (hi Mike!). Eventually we'll add some fun stuff to her bio, but mostly we just want you to know that she's awesome.
Hey, hi, hello!
I’m not sure what gets me up in the morning. Whether it’s the warm cup of coffee, maybe some golden toast with a spread on it, or the 4 ½ day old compost bucket filled to the brim of the previous days’ food scraps. Whichever it is, I could be called a food nut.
Ever since I was little food has been a major part of my life. Starting with my mom’s mom’s personal garden with freshly grown tomatoes or cucumbers, it was always worth it to make the stop at her house for a fresh Polish home cooked meal. She had a passion for cooking and making sure that everybody got fed. She, and my determination*, led me on a path of helping the community through food service.
When I was living around the West Side, I would stroll by Big Big Table and wondered "what the heck-a-roonie" it was about. I eventually started volunteering, got involved with several volunteering events, whether it was Urban Farm Day or at Highmark stadium with their 50/50 raffle, and now they can’t get rid of me. Big Big Table has become a second home for me here, where I can combine my love for food and helping others. Plus, Theresa feeds me well.
*Certified Forklift Operator
After spending six years in sunny Los Angeles, Christy has come back to Buffalo to join Big Big Table as an AmeriCorp VISTA member. She has a background in writing, editing, and social media. She doesn’t know much about cooking, but she loves to eat. This is not the first nonprofit she’s worked with, but she’s excited to get the chance to help Big Big Table as they grow.
Big Big Table Community Café Inc.
Board of Directors
Stephanie Smith, President
Owner & Consultant, Smith, Nadbrzuch, & Associates Inc.
Dana Epstein, Vice President
Senior Manager, Channel Sales - Commvault Systems Inc.
Aly Luccari, Secretary
Owner & Professional Organizer, Bright Organizing Solutions LLC
Kevin Havis, Treasurer
Project Manager, Citi
West Side Community Advocate
Educator & Advocate, Factotum Consulting
Purple Heart Veteran; Manager - Hatchet & Hops