In the heart of Downtown Omaha, there stands a bustling family-owned restaurant called Kitchen Table.
The owners, Colin and Jessica Duggan, share a deep passion for food and hospitality.
While the origins of Kitchen Table are at the heart of this piece, the irresistible love story of Colin and Jessica provides captivating context for the inception of their family business. Determined to remedy the lack of quality time they shared due to the demanding nature of their respective industries, Colin and Jessica Duggan decided to forge a new path together.
“One of the main motivating factors was we just never saw each other,” Colin Duggan said. “We wanted to change that, and we found something that we were both good at and pursued it.”
Colin Duggan had always been immersed in the restaurant business, honing his skills in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Jessica Duggan, with her background in events and marketing, found the idea of a restaurant to be an exhilarating prospect—a chance to host a special event every day, with new faces and stories waiting to unfold.
United by their shared vision and an unyielding desire to create something of their own, Colin and Jessica Duggan embarked on their culinary adventure, together.
On a sunny day in June 2013, Kitchen Table opened its doors for the first time. The restaurant quickly became a beloved fixture in the downtown community.
One of the greatest rewards for Colin and Jessica Duggan is the sense of community they foster. Regular customers are like family, their smiling faces greeting the couple every day. From joyous celebrations to moments of solace during difficult times, Kitchen Table is a sanctuary where people find comfort and connection.
Their business philosophy centers around the concept of “slow food, fast.” They believe in creating everything from scratch, and sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. Building relationships with farmers is an integral part of their operation, eagerly anticipating each harvest season and incorporating the freshest produce into their dishes.
“Knowing Terry’s tomatoes are coming in July, and her sweet potatoes are coming in September, and Tiff’s greens are amazing right now—those are cool relationships to have,” Jessica Duggan says.
Accommodating diverse dietary needs and preferences is another pillar of their philosophy.
With Jessica being a vegetarian (and mostly vegan), and Colin willing to eat almost anything, they aim to create a space where everyone can find something to satisfy their cravings, without compromise. Whether it is allergies, restrictions, or personal preferences, Kitchen Table welcomes every guest with open arms and a menu tailored to suit their needs.
“We hosted a birthday party for a woman who had a really restrictive health diet,” Jessica Duggan says. “Colin designed the whole menu, just for this group, that was all stuff she could eat. She came over and asked, ‘Jess, which of these menu items can I eat? You know what I can and can’t have.’ And I said, ‘It’s all you. It’s all for you.’ It was really special to be able to do that for somebody.”
Kitchen Table’s customer base is as diverse as the city itself. From the downtown workforce and the bustling brunch crowd to families and couples on first dates, their doors are open to all. The homey energy, coupled with personalized service, creates an atmosphere that makes all people feel welcome and cared for.
One of the main draws for customers is Kitchen Table’s commitment to supporting local farmers and sustainable practices. People consciously chose to dine at Kitchen Table, knowing that their meal is not only delicious but also a step towards a more environmentally friendly future. The community reciprocates this support by bringing in their excess garden produce, sharing the bounty of their own land.
As the years pass, Kitchen Table continues to evolve. The pandemic brought forth new challenges, prompting Colin and Jessica to create the “shopette” that still exists today. This expands their offerings beyond the restaurant menu, providing a variety of unique snacks and beverages. Customers can now enjoy unique treats that complement a visit to the newly renovated Gene Leahy Mall. The shopette also offers loaves of homemade bread, locally sourced salad greens, and biscuits. From scratch, take-and-make sourdough pizza crusts and Tiff’s local greens are two mouth-watering fan favorites offered at the shopette.
Though not everything in the shopette is made in-house, each item aligns with Colin and Jessica Duggan’s thoughtful philosophy. They aimed to provide customers with an experience they can’t find at a typical convenience store—a touch of uniqueness and care that mirrors the essence of Kitchen Table.
And so, Kitchen Table continues to thrive, its doors open to all who seek not just a meal but an experience, a friend, and a family. Colin and Jessica Duggan’s love for food, community, and each other permeates every corner of their beloved restaurant. It is a testament to their unwavering commitment to slow food, genuine hospitality, and the joy of bringing people together around a table, where stories are shared, memories are made, and nourishment goes far beyond the plate.