The Ground Floor began as a year-long Upper School student-driven initiative known as iProject. In 2017, a group of Mount Vernon sophomores had an idea to create a coffee shop that their peers and teachers would be able to enjoy at school. These students were interested in opening a speciality coffee shop on campus. As part of their market research, they partnered with Refuge Coffee to do an observational study on the demand for specialty coffee on campus. In seeking feedback from students and faculty, they hosted a coffee truck on campus one morning. The initiative was met with outstanding enthusiasm.

Now, as we set our sites on the opening of the new Upper School building, that dream that began almost three years ago, is becoming a reality. Mount Vernon has partnered with a local coffee company, Taproom Coffee, which will supply and operate our new in-house coffee shop. In collaboration with several of the original students who conceptualized the idea, the brand development team created a Ground Floor Coffee Company logo, which will be the new identity of the space.

As construction concluded, three of the original coffee shop students who are now seniors — Lauren Hill, Aria Morrill and Katie Thompson — accompanied their teacher and mentor Deairra Hobson to get a glimpse of the impact their idea has had on the School. Each one of them had an opportunity to sign their name on the wall, forever making their mark.

Because they had the opportunity to attend Mount Vernon where curiosity and passion drive learning, they were able to think big, explore possibilities, and chase their dreams to make an impact. Today.

What first started as a few students’ crazy, far-off idea has turned into a reality. The Ground Floor Coffee Company will soon launch at Mount Vernon – where its community will enjoy specialty coffee in their own space. I look forward to working closely with students to explore the possibilities of how we can integrate the coffee shop into the campus community and into academic programs in the future. As a local business owner, I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Mount Vernon on such an innovative project!

Jonathan Pascual

Owner , Taproom Coffee