Erica Kippe

Common Table Woodbridge

What is Common Table Woodbridge?

Common Table Woodbridge is a catering and food service business that partners with Live Coal Gallery to run the café and provide catering for events. Live Coal Gallery promotes local, emerging and youth artists. Our food is fresh, whimsical and locally sourced. I’ve known Yvette Rock (the founder of Live Coal Gallery) from the neighborhood. It’s such a tight community. We’ve both lived in Woodbridge for many years and the partnership was a natural progression for us.

What was your experience in Build Institute?

Build helped me look at my business carefully and organically. People have really big dreams but it’s also important to stay grounded and the class makes you answer all of the important questions before getting in over your head. Really narrowing down your target audience, your pricing and profit margins, etc. Build gave me a foundation, but I’ve found that, in Detroit especially, you have to be flexible and open to change.


“Build helped me look at my business carefully and organically. People have really big dreams but it’s also important to stay grounded.”



What are your most recent developments?

I started Detroit Cooks, a cooperative kitchen where several local food businesses share space in partnership with the Hannan House, including (Build grad) Sister Pie.

This past year I launched my partnership with the gallery and I cater all events and art openings in the space. I also have new expanded hours, Tuesdays 6-9pm + Fridays 7-4pm, and I plan to be open on Saturdays soon. Everyone can keep an eye on our FB page for updates.

Finally, I’m in the midst of looking for a commercial space in the neighborhood, which takes a lot of time and building relationships. It’s been a challenge since the neighborhood is primarily zoned for residential.

What’s in the future for Common Table Woodbridge?

I envision it as a café and community space established in Woodbridge, where we also hold cooking classes and events. After living in Woodbridge almost my entire life, I’ve noticed a lot more families in the area. People want more local retail.  I want it to be a space where people can make connections. That doesn’t always happen in restaurants, but I hope to create an inviting, open space, and encourage a sense of camaraderie.

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