Welcome to the table!
Big Big Table Community Café is a pay-as-you can lunchtime restaurant
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.
This pay-as-you-can model strives to promote healthy individuals and communities.
At Big Big Table, Everybody has a chance to give what they can to get what they need!
Big Big Table Community Café, Inc. is a member of One World Everybody Eats,
a network consisting of organizations utilizing a sustainable, global enterprise model.
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 cafe team is an incredibly talented group of compassionate and community-minded administration, staff, and volunteers.
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 also encourages collaborative discussion and promotes equitable access to information and services throughout the organization. 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.
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 is the fun one.
Community & Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
AmeriCorps Employment Literacy Counselor
Rachel grew up on a little dairy farm in the Finger Lakes. Living with her 5 siblings, she quickly learned what it meant to share with others and how to deal with conflict. She found her love of cooking and baking through watching her parents and grandparents in the kitchen. After highschool, she went to Lesvos, Greece, where she volunteered with an NGO running a refugee camp there. She loved learning about different cultures and the foods from those cultures. Back in the states, she decided she wanted to continue working in an environment that let her learn about the world around her. That led her to Buffalo where she took part in an internship that worked with non-profits around the city. As part of her internship she needed volunteer hours, that’s when she found Big Big Table. Her job here started out with painting walls, cleaning up sawdust, and putting up trim. An Americorp position opened up to allow her to work at Big Big Table. Her job evolved into helping create and run our volunteer program, serving guests, and social media marketing. She has been in Buffalo for 3 years now and has loved every part of it. She’s grateful for the many opportunities and friendships that she’s in this community! When she's not at Big Big Table, it's a problem.
Operations and Engagement Manager
AmeriCorps Employment Literacy Counselor
Tash is the Operations and Engagement Manager of the cafe doing a third term with AmeriCorps. They moved to Buffalo from Eastern Pennsylvania for school where they graduated from both Buffalo State and University at Buffalo with degrees in urban planning. They are currently pursuing a second Masters degree in history. At the cafe, you can often spot them at their laptop designing Food Doodz content or talking with guests. When she isn't at Big Big Table, Tash becomes invisible and walks around giggling wildly.
Big Big Board of Directors
Stephanie Smith, President
Owner & Consultant, Smith, Nadbrzuch, & Associates Inc.
Trueman Muhrer-Irwin, Vice President
Purple Heart Veteran; Co-Founder of Big Big Table
Aly Luccari, Secretary
Owner & Professional Organizer, Bright Organizing Solutions LLC
Kevin Havis, Treasurer
Project Manager, Citi
West Side Community Advocate
Founder, Big Big Table
Senior Manager, Channel Sales - Commvault Systems Inc.
Educator & Advocate, Factotum Consulting
Crystal Wentz, Esq.
The Law Office of Crystal L. M. Wentz