Food Service & Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Real Estate

Coffee company buys West Side building for HQ

December 19, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Ferris 7th Street NW headquarters partial rendering
A partial rendering of Ferris' new headquarters at the American Seating site on the West Side. Courtesy Ferris

A local coffee and nut company has acquired a 165,000-square-foot building on the West Side to consolidate its operations.

Grand Rapids-based Ferris Coffee & Nut Company said this afternoon it has purchased the American Seating building in Grand Rapids, at 601 7th St. NW, to help accommodate consistent year-over-year double-digit growth.

The building will house the company’s headquarters, plant and distribution center.

The deal doesn’t include American Seating Park across the street.

“Every decision we make is grounded in an intense care for our customers, our employees and our community,” said John VanTongeren, owner and president, Ferris. “The decision to move our operation to the much larger American Seating building on the West Side allows us to bring all of our employees under one roof, better serve our customers and enables our team to re-invest in long-term, sustainable development in the city that we have always called home.”

He added the new location will also further establish Ferris’ dedication to the West Side.

Currently, Ferris has its headquarters, plant and a retail space in Grand Rapids, at 227 Winter Ave. NW, and its distribution center in Wyoming, at 4050 Roger B. Chaffee Blvd.

Ferris will consolidate its two facilities into the American Seating building, which was built in 1993 on 8.5 acres.

Ferris will renovate the facility to facilitate its food service growth.

The transition will occur during the next 12 months.

The company's store and coffee shop at 227 Winter Ave. will remain as it transitions into the facility. Plans for the store and coffee shop are "undetermined." The intent is to "maintain a strong retail presence on the city's West Side," in addition to the company's coffee shop downtown in the Trust Building, at 40 Pearl St. NW.

Ferris Coffee & Nut was founded in 1924 and roasts coffees and nuts on site at its manufacturing facility.

The new site's seller, American Seating, is also undergoing a consolidation.

“Earlier this year, American Seating made the decision to put this facility on the market, as we began the process of consolidating our manufacturing activities under one roof to optimize our operational efficiencies across all aspects of our business,” said Tom Bush, president and COO, American Seating. “We have worked closely with the Ferris coffee leadership team throughout the sales process and look forward to having them as new neighbors.”

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