Behind the Beard—Daniel Shoup


2013 found Ferris on the eve of a company-wide rebirth. Our tired, 89-year old business was in dire demand for a serious cultural and physical facelift. Success meant more than growth, it meant we had to create opportunities and environments for everyone to thrive. Even at the most fundamental level, tough decisions had to be made which in turn made for many sleepless nights and a few too many adult beverages. But the dream of what the next 90 years for Ferris could be was impossible to ignore.

Change like this always starts with people. And when it comes to people, it’s hard to find someone more humble and more passionate about his craft than Daniel Shoup.

Fresh in to Grand Rapids by way of Chicago, Dan strolled into our retail store with his resume in hand. The vibe here was quite different back then—the store was a mixed bag of roasted nuts, chocolates, a tiny espresso bar, and too many bulk (read: stale) coffee bins to count, all of which were neatly wrapped in a dated and dimly-lit, old-world Italian aesthetic. Completely unaware of the journey ahead, Dan dropped off his resume and walked out.

He had us stumped. Why would Dan, a man with a decent amount of experience at a reputable shop in a coffee Mecca like Chicago, want to work here?

We had to ask. And his response left us with our jaws on the floor: Dan just wanted to be around coffee—he would have been happy moving bags of green around with a forklift.

This pure, humble passion for coffee makes Dan a fiercely effective coffee pro. His finely-tuned sensory skills and all around competence on bar make him a natural fit as our Head Barista and a driving force behind our constant pursuit of coffee excellence. The fresh fade and burly beard are just a bonus.

Join us in wishing Dan good luck as he represents Ferris in the Brewers Cup at the United States Coffee Championships Regional Qualifier in February!