High-quality coffee through education

Further your professional coffee education

We aim to share our passion, knowledge, and expertise in order to equip our employees, our customers, and the general public with the skills and tools needed to better understand the specialty coffee industry, and ultimately, to make better coffee.

The Foundry builds on what was formerly the Midwest Barista School to help create a more educated and collaborative coffee industry. Our goal is that those who choose to complete courses will demand more from their coffee roasters, their retailers, and themselves in terms of quality and presentation.

The transition from the Midwest Barista School has enabled The Foundry to become more conveniently located within Grand Rapids, creating more connectivity with a food-centric city where the specialty coffee community continues to evolve. Along with the change in physical location, The Foundry brings with it a new culture of its own, and new, relevant programming built from SCAA industry standards. Being located at Ferris Coffee allows students to learn hands-on from instructors who work as roasters and baristas on a daily basis.

Ferris has a heritage of working with a variety of customers, equipment manufacturers, and experts from various levels of the industry and so the courses within The Foundry are designed to highlight all the best facets of specialty coffee. We hope that students will look at this unique center for professional coffee development and see it as the stepping stone to something much bigger - a career.

Consider these facts when choosing where to train:

  • Our instructors work in and on a coffee bar everyday
  • We are involved with the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America), the "Coffee Fest" trade show, and are dedicated to continuous improvement in all of our processes and systems.
  • We are connected to a roasting facility, and have been working with and around roasting for 91 years

Meet the people shaping tomorrow's baristas.

  • David VanTongeren Program Director & Instructor - Extraction
  • AJ Willett Head Trainer
  • Dan Shoup Head Barista
  • Cody Flowers Instructor - Tea
  • Jessica Coles Instructor - Milk & Latte Art
  • Sam Mirto Director of Coffee, Certified Q Grader
  • Nick Van Slett Head Roaster