UMFS’ Charterhouse School Brews Up Unique Partnership With Ironclad Coffee Roasters

There’s a hot new student-run business starting up at UMFS’ Charterhouse School, thanks to a partnership with Ironclad Coffee Roasters in Scott’s Addition. The two groups brewed up the idea to start a Coffee Cart Café to serve over 100 faculty and staff on UMFS’ campus.

UMFS’ Charterhouse School empowers children with autism and other neurological differences and students with emotional challenges. Students from the school recently toured Ironclad Coffee Roasters’ Scott’s Addition roastery where they learned the art of coffee roasting and developed a plan for the partnership.

Ironclad Coffee Roasters will donate the coffee for the Coffee Cart Café during the initial startup phase. Once the students have determined the necessary supply needed and calculated cost per cup, Ironclad will provide the coffee in bulk at a discount.

“The class allows the students to combine what they learn in their classes and apply it to a real world scenario,” said Brendan Folmar, principal of Charterhouse School. “The confidence the students gain when they see their customer’s smile motivates them to succeed in school and pursue their goals.”

The students not only make the coffee they sell, but determine the amount of supplies needed, write marketing content, create flyers and coordinate the printing of flyers to promote the café. Currently, the students are selling the coffee one-day a week on campus, but hope to grow the program.

Ironclad’s owner, Ryan O’Rourke, started Ironclad Coffee Roasters after spending five years in Europe and learning to roast coffee at home. Ironclad sells coffee by the bag at their retail store in Scott’s Addition.

“Meeting the students and learning more about Charterhouse School aligns with our mission to grow the skill of coffee roasting in Richmond,” Ryan said. “We are excited to partner both professionally and personally with UMFS and its Charterhouse School and look forward to working with students to grow the Coffee Cart Café program”