Ferris Coffee taking over café inside Bridge Street Market

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A year after shuttering two of its Grand Rapids locations, Ferris Coffee & Nut will open a new café inside the Bridge Street Market.

Ferris Coffee & Nut this week said it will take over the lease of the café inside Bridge Street Market, at 405 Seward Ave. NW in Grand Rapids, in May after a brief renovation of the space and its signage.

The café space currently is leased by Tillie Ruth’s Coffee & Tea, which will close Saturday, April 30, according to owner Mary Rose in a Facebook post last week.

“When I opened Tillie Ruth’s Coffee & Tea in 2020, I did it to honor the life of my late mother, Tillie Ruth,” Rose said in the post. “She loved to entertain and have a chat over a good cup of coffee — we’ve worked hard over the past two years to bring her hostess spirit to the West Side at our café in Bridge Street Market. Opening a café in the middle of a worldwide pandemic — some may say I was crazy, but I know my mom would have said, ‘Bring it on.’ However, all good things come to an end, and it is with a heavy heart that I announce the end of this journey.”

The Business Journal previously reported Ferris Coffee in May 2021 announced it would permanently close its cafés at 227 Winter Ave. NW on Grand Rapids’ West Side and at 40 Pearl St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids. It still retains its headquarters and café at 839 Seward Ave. NW in Grand Rapids, its Holland café and its location inside Capital City Market in Lansing, which is Meijer’s other small-format grocery store.

Sarah Eyk, senior marketing manager for Ferris, said the company’s goal with the Bridge Street Market location will be “to create a space of connection and serve our specialty coffee to customers within the market.”

“Shoppers can find our products on the shelves and then take a few steps over to the café to try them fresh and firsthand,” she said. “By being present in the market, it gives us an opportunity to further share the stories of the coffees and hopefully give customers a better connection to the product they are buying.”

Mark Van Tongeren, Ferris’ vice president of sales and marketing, said Ferris is looking to add value to every community of which it is part; hence, the partnership with Meijer and Bridge Street Market.

“It supports our longstanding relationship with the Meijer organization while allowing us the opportunity to share our brand in an exciting food and beverage environment,” he said.

Eyk said the Bridge Street Market café will be a scaled-down version of its other cafés and will serve light-, medium- and dark-roast batch-brew specialty coffees; espressos including mochas, lattes, Americanos and cappuccinos; nitro cold brews; and a selection of teas.

“We’re extremely excited for this opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with the Bridge Street Market,” said Sam Mirto, Ferris’ director of coffee. “We are passionate about directly sourced, freshly roasted coffee and look forward to providing a curated experience that will appeal to the utilitarian and to the coffee enthusiast.”

The café also will offer Ferris’ best-selling breakfast sandwiches, bagels and a couple of smoothie options, Eyk said.