After five and a half years of being open, Taproom has finally expanded! Our new location is at Mount Vernon School in Sandy Springs.
If you’re surprised by this news, you’re not alone. We’ve contained our excitement and we haven’t shouted this announcement from the coffee shop rooftops because… well… this coffee bar isn’t open to the general public.
“Ground Floor Coffee Co.” is our alias in this unique location in the upper schools building of Mount Vernon Schools. It’s staffed by Taproom baristas and we’re still using East Pole Coffee Co. as our partnering roaster. The coffee bar is situated on the ground floor of the same building where high schoolers go to class, and right next to the cafeteria where the students and faculty eat lunch. The coffee bar serves the campus community, so only students, parents, and Mount Vernon employees will be able to grab a cappuccino or smoothie (no beer at this bar!) from Ground Floor.
The uniqueness of the coffee bar is not just the location, but also in the story of how it all came about… I had the opportunity to work with a handful of high school students on a class project where they explored the idea of placing a full espresso bar in their new high school building. Over two years, I got the chance to visit their class and do mini-lessons on the coffee industry, cost of goods, profit/loss, and what equipment works best in an espresso bar. Those students also came to Taproom to see a specialty coffee shop in operation, and to talk through how they could apply the concept to their school. They ended up pitching the idea to the school administration, and when it came time for their new school building to break ground, they pulled the trigger and put the espresso bar in the official plans! So this was student-initiated, and is ultimately for the benefit of Mount Vernon students.
As we just now get started in the Mount Vernon school year, we’re hoping that we can explore possibilities of leveraging Taproom’s presence in the high school for really unique educational experiences. Students could do work internships with us, we could be a testing ground for graphic design projects, and we could help fund student scholarships or at least contribute annual financial donations to the school. The possibilities are really wide open!
Really, this is just pure fun for us. What other high school anywhere has a 3-group La Marzocco Linea, a Puqpress, Acaia Scales (and other geeky specialty coffee equipment), East Pole certified baristas, and Nitro Flash iced coffee on draft?
Read more about this project in this article in The Mount Vernon Magazine!