Ken and Erica Jones Establish a Place of Food, Community, and Connection.

by | Jul 2023

ERICA JONES spent most of her life as a vegetarian. As the youngest in her family, her mother raised her as a vegetarian, but she allowed her to venture out and eat meat. But, after the mad cow disease epidemic plagued the U.S. in the ‘90s, she consciously decided not to eat meat.

She said, “Then, over the years, as we were able to become educated, we were able to see how eating plant-derived foods actually encouraged or brought about a healthier lifestyle.”

On the other hand, her husband, Ken, grew up eating meat, delighting in steaks and soul food as a young boy. But after witnessing health issues plague his family and community, he decided to dive in and pursue a healthier diet.

The trials and triumphs they faced in years prior played a part in fostering a more wholesome way of living. But at the core of their unwavering commitment to discipline was their devout faith as Seventh-Day Adventists.

Ken said, “One of the things about Seventh Day Adventism is a message of health. The Lord wants us to prosper and be in health, and He has created an original diet that is best for our well-being.”

Photographed by Ashleigh Newnes.

Their journey to becoming plantbased was a process. As they became more knowledgeable about healthy living, they decided, in 2006, to officially remove meat from their diet as a unit, and transitioned to pescetarianism.

In 2016, after completing a two-year fitness camp in Pennsylvania, Erica and her family eliminated dairy and fish and officially adopted a plant-based diet. The path to good health is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, patience, and dedication.

After years of attending health seminars, vending at local events, and immersing themselves in knowledge about holistic eating habits, the couple, originally from up North, decided to open a plant-based restaurant in Morrison.

The Welcome Table Kitchen and Bakery is a healing haven for all community members, from carnivores to plantbased enthusiasts.

Photographed by Ashleigh Newnes.

Through food, the Joneses hope to heal and encourage others to embark on their own journey toward good health.

Ken explained, “When you look at the plant-based diet, it lowers type two diabetes by 37%. When we talk about healing through foods, it’s basically saying there’s a lot of foods that we eat, a lot of people don’t know, like, sugars and things of that nature, that leads to disease and, ultimately, to death.”

The Welcome Table offers healthy meals and camaraderie that nourish the body and spirit.

Walking into The Welcome Table, friendly vibes and catchy music immediately envelop and carry you to another universe where food is more than just sustenance — it’s an experience. It’s a place where warm smiles and a sense of belonging are palpable, and you can’t help but notice the delicious smell of healthy foods wafting through the air. When writing their reviews, most people comment on the restaurant’s inclusive, friendly, inviting atmosphere and flowing music.

Photo submitted by Ken Jones.

Erica continued, “It’s really about connecting with them. And most times, when we connect with people, they share some of the things they’re going through, health-wise. And then we can start encouraging them on their journey to eat healthier and be healthier.”

The BBQ Jackfruit Tacos are a musttry dish on the menu, which has become a popular favorite among customers. But more than simply providing tasty food, Ken and Erica strive to focus on proactive versus reactive eating.

By choosing meals low in sodium, trans fats, and carbohydrates, they’re taking preventative measures to ensure their customers’ health is in good condition. And instead of using refined oils and sugars, they opt for healthier alternatives like grapeseed, coconut, and olive oils, as well as natural cane sugar.

From food preparation to presentation, everything is health-conscious and delicious. The couple even offers cooking classes, seminars, educational resources, and vegan meals.

Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be complicated. The couple acknowledges that navigating social events and gatherings can be challenging because some may not understand their lifestyle choices.

However, it’s their dedication to the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle that keeps them rooted and committed to living a holistic lifestyle.


Their delicious, wholesome meals speak for themselves and dispel stereotypes about plant-based eating.

“We have people come in, and when they order, they’re pleasantly surprised that we have a large variety of things on the menu. And people now come, and they work their way down the menu because everything that they have, they enjoy. So that’s been a challenge — that kind of stigma of what plant-based is,” said Ken.

The Welcome Table LLC is more than just a restaurant; it’s a place for the community to heal and connect. Whether a carnivore or plant-based eater, Ken and Erica Jones welcome you with open arms and a plate of delicious, wholesome food.

Everyone is welcome to take a seat at the table. GN

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