Welcome Table: Couple Open Plant-based Restaurant to Share Jesus in Their Community
Ever since Erica and Ken Jones started offering cooking and health seminars, participants would ask, “When are you opening up your own restaurant?”
The Joneses had been enjoying a plant-based diet for years, which had been inspired by a fitness camp they had attended while in the Pennsylvania Conference. In 2018, the couple also took some courses with the Wildwood Lifestyle Center in Wildwood, Ga. Erica Jones said these classes were crucial for the ministry God had in store for them.
In March 2022, the couple finished a cooking demonstration at the Tullahoma, Tenn., Church, which they now attend, and once again people asked, “When will you open up your own restaurant?” After much prayer, they decided it was time to take a leap of faith; and so, on December 4, 2022, the couple had the grand opening for “Welcome Table Kitchen and Bakery.”
“When we moved to the South, I knew in my heart that God had put us here for a reason, though at that time I did not know why,” said Jones. “Now I understand that God brought us here [because of the restaurant]. This is His ministry, and it’s our way to introduce others to the health message.”
Based in Morrison, Tenn., the restaurant’s slogan is “Enjoying tasty and healthy meals that heal.” Jones said when she switched to a plant-based diet, it was important for her to not compromise taste, which has helped the popularity of the restaurant. Some of her best-selling dishes include roasted vegetables, a house burger, and BBQ jackfruit tacos.
“It has been great showing people that healthy food can be tasty food, too,” she said.
According to the Joneses, opening the restaurant required a lot of sacrifices on their end, like downsizing living finances. However, they do this joyfully because they see this as an opportunity to share the Gospel with their community.
“We are individually doing this work ourselves, and the Lord is sustaining us and providing what we need,” said Ken Jones. “Our biggest hope is that this ministry can ultimately please Him, and that we can faithfully represent the face of the Church in this community.”
Kentucky-Tennessee | July 2023