Posts by David Van Tongeren

  1. Behind the Beard—AJ Willett

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    Collaboration and education are a must for any industry built around social interaction; the coffee business is no different. Any effort to grow our 90+ year-old company would be fruitless if we did not do it with the goal of sharing our knowledge and passion with others.

    Ferris’ purchase of the Midwest Barista School in 2014 was the perfect opportunity to do so, but much work had to be done first. We scrapped the curriculum, the name, and the location. What remained were the cornerstones of success: people and passion.

    Relocated in Grand Rapids, rebranded as The Foundry, and updated to reflect current industry trends and best practices, our education center was ready to go. All that we lacked was the right person to run it. Luckily, AJ Willett was just one job post on Sprudge away... continue reading →