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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. 

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

One World Everybody Eats.

Why Pay-as-you-can?

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.

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Heather McCarthy

Director of Operations & Community Engagement


The founding director and lead staff member of Big Big Table, Heather is an experienced cross-functional professional who brings over a decade of leadership and organizational skills to her position. She has over twenty years of experience in customer-facing roles and a background in science and education that promotes a transparent and iterative approach to problem solving among all Big Big Table stakeholders. Heather encourages collaborative discussion and promotes equitable access to information as Big Big Table learns how to best serve the lower West Side. Prior to Big Big Table, Heather worked as an educator, in non-clinical youth mental health support, and as a volunteer for the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium.  A resident of Buffalo’s West Side, McCarthy received her BA and MA from Buffalo State University.

When she isn't at Big Big Table, she cannot be found (404).


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. 



Kitchen Coordinator

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.

Morgan Stewart

Community & Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

AmeriCorps EOC

Before beginning her adventures in graduate school, Morgan was a restaurant chef, which fuels her love for community building through food! Most likely described by friends as empathic and ambitious, Morgan really enjoys being in good company with a team of staff and volunteers who are passionate about creating a welcoming café environment (but most of all, she loves overhearing guests say how happy they are that BBT exists!).

Morgan has an extended list of strengths and accomplishments, and her work in accessible, community focused food programming makes her a tremendous asset to the Big Big Table team. Yay Morgan! 


Big Big Table Community Café Inc.
Board of Directors

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  • 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​

  • Mandy Bailey
       Founding Chef

  • Jesse Anaya

West Side Community Advocate

  • Allison Hyman

​Educator & Advocate, Factotum Consulting

  • Trueman Muhrer-Irwin
    Purple Heart Veteran; Manager - Hatchet & Hops


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