Roderica and Francina James are the founders of The Cochrane House in Detroit, Michigan. The sisters, who are natives of Detroit, got a taste of entrepreneurship early.

Their mother owned a business that offered free tutoring services to children. She gave Roderica and Francina small administrative roles early on. As the years went on, they were able to take the business to the next level and expanded into other states.

Photo courtesy of Gavin Beckford Photography


Fast forward to May 2018, and they established their latest venture in the middle of downtown Detroit. “We knew we wanted to start a new business,” Roderica tells Travel Noire.

“Zoning ordinances restricted us to only a few options. A bed and breakfast was the best option. Not to mention the fact that I love decorating homes,” she continues. “We are in close proximity to three of Detroit’s major sporting arenas. We also wanted to be near Detroit’s historical “Black Bottom.” This area was important to Black businesses in Detroit years ago.”

Getting the business together was no easy task for the sisters. “As Black women, trying to gain the capital for the business was a struggle. It took us five years to get it up and running. However, we have found the blessing in the struggle. The Cochrane House was created from the struggle and it pushes us to surpass regular expectations,” Roderica explains.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Lee Studios


The sisters wanted to ensure that The Cochrane House had a different feel than a traditional bed and breakfast. It is comfortable and chill, yet high-end. What truly sets them apart is that they feature their own custom candles as well as their own label of bath products in the rooms.

The home only has three rooms, but this allows for the sisters to provide guests with a private and customized experience.

Photo courtesy of Gavin Beckford Photography

“Guests are able to customize their breakfast each morning. They can choose from a menu of items that we offer and we prepare them. Our family has Southern roots so we prepare Southern-style breakfasts,” Francina says.

Related: The Story Behind This Black-Owned Bed And Breakfast Will Move You to Tears

The sisters stay on-site when they are hosting guests. They want to be available 24/7 for anything that may be needed. In addition to the customized breakfasts, guests have the option for in-room massage services as well as private chef services.

Photo courtesy of Gavin Beckford Photography


No matter what color or ethnicity, The Cochrane House welcomes you with open arms. When asked to describe the home in three words, the sisters say “love, family, and relaxation.”

You can also find them on social media: @thecochrane313.