Posts by Mark Van Tongeren

  1. Coffee + Beer

    Coffee and beer.

    Arguably two of the world’s greatest beverages. And while it is documented that beer was used as payment for laborers in the early years of civilization, some might suggest that coffee was consumed while brewing those first batches of beer. Okay, so that’s probably not factually accurate, but it is safe to say that coffee and beer are two of the most culturally-influencing beverages throughout human history. This is evident even to this day, especially here in Michigan.

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    We’ve written at length detailing the parallels between the specialty coffee and craft beer cultures. The overlap in nuance, vernacular, and social prominence create some fun and interesting conversation (not to mention web content see HERE and HERE). What really gets us excited is when this conversation leads... continue reading →

  2. Congratulations to Sam Mirto!

    sam01.jpgPlease join us in congratulating Sam Mirto for successfully completing his Q-grader certification exams! Sam has spent the last year or so developing an extensive knowledge base and skill set that helped him achieve this honor. The grueling 6-day, 21 test examination process evaluates everything from basic knowledge to green coffee grading, sensory triangulation, and detecting trace amounts of organic acids in a diluted sample based solely on taste perception. For more details, check out http://www.coffeeinstitute.org/our-work/q-coffee-system/

    So what does this mean for you, our customer? The Q-grader certification allows Sam to pinpoint desirable characteristics when sourcing coffees and create roast profiles to highlight the best features of our offerings; meaning even better tasting coffee for you.

    Keep an eye on this space and our social channels to see what new offerings we will have this year... continue reading →

  3. Behind the Beard—Daniel Shoup

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    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... continue reading →