The one thing that almost every college student has in common is the need for caffeine. More specifically, that means a need for coffee. One of the many benefits of attending Hope College is the variety of vibrant and delicious coffee shops just within walking distance. Although each nearby coffee shop has similar menus, there are many defining factors that make them unique from each other. This includes the coffee beans, atmospheres, pastries, prices, staff and fun quirks. This series of articles will feature different coffee shops in downtown Holland, starting with Ferris Coffee.
Ferris Coffee & Nut Company is a family-owned business that has roasted specialty coffees and gourmet nuts for 95 years, but it wasn’t until 2018 that Ferris Coffee was welcomed into downtown Holland. With its bright interior lighting and modernized space, Ferris has plenty of seating, consisting of comfy chairs and high-top tables. They use their very own locally roasted Brazilian espresso beans for their in-store beverages. Called “1924 Espresso” in ode to their birth year, their espresso beans are for sale in-store or online. These beans are a lighter roast in order to preserve more sweetness when pulling a shot. For drip coffee, they offer a light, medium, or dark roast option.
An employee of Ferris Coffee, Anna Doughtery (’22) commented on the variety of customers they receive. In comparison to neighboring coffee shops, she believes they receive more of a wide range of customers. “It is a very open environment for anyone to come,” she mentions, “we get a lot of tourists and a lot of locals so it’s kind of cool to see a good mix of people.”
“I think I go to Ferris at least once a week,” Emlin Munch (’24) admitted, “I just love how bright it is. It makes me feel more awake and more productive.” She said, “I generally prefer Ferris over 205 and LJ’s just because of the atmosphere. It’s a lot brighter in there, and I really like the openness of the space and the bigger tables to study at.” Gracielynn Hill (’24) also admires the shop’s environment that is perfect for studying, chatting, or even job interviews. “The atmosphere there is so awesome,” She claimed, “I love being able to go in there and find a corner where I can work on homework, drink coffee, or just meet friends. I’ve even done a couple interviews there.”
Many customers also emphasize the friendliness of Ferris’ employees. “I chose to work here because it was always just a very welcoming environment,” said Doughtery, “and all the people here give me good vibes.” Hill prefers going to Ferris over the other coffee shops downtown due to similar reasons. “The people who work there are always so nice,” Hill commented, “I kid you not, every time they make solid eye contact with you and seem to be genuinely interested in how your day is going.”
Ferris baristas serve espresso and tea beverages all day and even offer a quality pour-over coffee by the cup and their own nitro cold brew on tap. Alongside beverages, they offer a variety of pastries, nuts, chocolates, and their very own, locally-roasted, coffee beans. Hill pointed out that another really important aspect of Ferris Coffee was its sustainability awareness. Ferris makes sustainability a priority through building long-term relationships with coffee producers and making ethical and eco-friendly choices.
Like most coffee shops, Ferris offers a wide range of milk and syrup options for lattes and/or cappuccinos. Here are a few drink recommendations from Hope students and Ferris staff:
- Raspberry mocha
- Iced Matcha
- Espresso milkshake: “It’s literally so good,” says Hill, “I’ve never had anything like it. It beats every other place I’ve ever been.”
- Cafe miel: “In the summer, I get it with lavender,” comments Munch.
Next time you need a caffeine boost, stop by Ferris Coffee on 8th Street to experience the bright atmosphere and delicious coffee for yourself!