Sisters behind luxury Detroit bed and breakfast to use space to lift up new nonprofits

'We wanted to be an impact on our community.'
Posted at 10:45 AM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 17:54:50-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — If there’s one thing you feel when you enter The Cochrane House Luxury Historic Inn Detroit in Brush Park — it's sisterly love.

We caught up with Roderica and Francina James last year, sharing how they renovated a 19th century mansion to create a luxury bed and breakfast right outside of Comerica Park.

But something that’s always run in tandem with their successful business is a desire to give back.

Sisters turn 19th century Detroit mansion into luxury bed and breakfast

"I tell people this all the time, even if it's down to your last cent, if you give it out, it will come back," said Roderica.

That giving spirit gave way to The Cochrane House Nonprofit, and that was even before their bed and breakfast was bustling.

"We didn't even know we were going to open our doors ... but what we did know is once we did, we wanted to be an impact on our community," Roderica said.

The nonprofit is now also known as the Mary Frances Almon-James Youth Organization — renamed to honor their late mother.

"My mom has always had a heart for giving. So even in her business, she was giving, giving, giving, giving, giving," said Roderica.

Through their nonprofit, Roderica and Francina give back to the youth in the community through mentorship, educational initiatives, resources and more.

One of their biggest events is their holiday gift giving, where they partner with schools at the end of the year to make sure kids in need have a memorable holiday.

"Basically in her name, we give out toys for Christmas every year to children ... in 2022, we were able to service 41 families and 107 children," she said.

And they’re not just focused on their own work as a nonprofit — they have a plan to lift up other local nonprofits, too, teaming up with Monica Marie Jones Coaching to really make a difference this year when it comes to grassroots organizations.

"There's different nonprofits, local grassroots nonprofits that we've chosen for them to come into our space, talk to the women here, raise funds for the things that they need. And so we're actually, as a program, we're opening up our doors this year for other nonprofits to come in and get money, because a lot of times that's what it takes in order for you to reach the goals you're trying to reach within your community," said Roderica.

The sisters said they already have 10 events scheduled this year at The Cochrane House to help garner support for those chosen nonprofits.

"We want to be here for them, because everyone is here for us — and I think that's what we appreciate the most," said Francina.

It all goes back to that feeling of community — fueled by that sisterly love that Francina and Roderica try to give to everyone who walks through the doors of The Cochrane House. It's work that would undoubtedly make their mom proud.

"She poured into us awful lot. And we do this for her ... she would look up and she would say, 'my girls are doing exactly what I told them to do,'" said Roderica.

To learn more about The Cochrane House Nonprofit, click here. To learn more about The Cochrane House luxury bed and breakfast, click here.

The sisters are running a 15% off discount through the end of the month at The Cochrane House. It expires on Feb, 28, 2023. The coupon code is wxyz15.