GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A family-owned coffee business inside Grand Rapids’ Bridge Street Market will be serving up its last cup of java this week.
Tillie Ruth’s Coffee & Tea’s last day will be April 30. Owner Mary Rose announced the move in a letter she posted on Facebook Thursday.
“We are proud to have been part of this community and have the opportunity to serve and get to know you over the past couple of years. We will miss your friendly faces,” she stated in the message.
Rose decided not to renew her lease and move onto something different, according to Bridge Street Market Marketing Manager Daltyn Terpstra.
Terpstra said Rose is working with Ferris Coffee & Nut Co., which will open in the café space in early May.
“While this chapter is closing for me, I’m excited for what’s to come. I am thankful for incredible partners in business and community like Bridge Street Market and John (Van Tongeren) and his team at Ferris,” Rose stated.
Rose was previously a co-owner of Mayan Buzz, the original coffee shop inside Bridge Street Market. She and her business partner parted ways in 2019 and Rose took over the operations at Bridge Street Market, naming the shop after her late mother who “loved to entertain and have a chat over a good cup of coffee,” according to Rose. Tillie Ruth’s Coffee & Tea officially opened in August 2020.
“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,” Rose wrote in part.
“Opening a coffee shop in the middle of a pandemic is not something that’s easy to do,” Terpstra told News 8 Monday. “We’re happy to support her in that and welcome Ferris (Coffee & Nut Co.), too.”
Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. already operates a coffee shop inside Bridge Street Market’s sister store, Capital City Market in Lansing.
“We’re extremely excited for this opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with the Bridge Street Market,” said Sam Mirto, director of coffee for Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.
The company says its new store cafe will help it connect with customers who already buy its directly sourced coffee, nuts and trail mixes at Bridge Street Market.
“Shoppers can find our products on the shelves and then take a few steps over to the cafe to try them fresh and first-hand. 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,” said Sarah Eyk, senior marketing manager for Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.
The new café is a promising sign for Ferris Coffee & Nut Co., which closed two cafes last year. Van Tongeren tells News 8 the impact of COVID-19 played a role, but “the decisions were made to align with our long-term retail strategy.”
“We look to add value to the places and communities we’re a part of, which is why partnering with Meijer and Bridge Street Market in this capacity makes a lot of sense. 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,” Van Tongeren stated.
Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.’s headquarters is located about eight blocks north of Bridge Street Market, at 839 Seward Ave. NW. The company also operates a café on 8th Street in Holland.