OUR STORY

OUR STORY

 

HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY

OUR STORY LIVES IN EVERY CUP OF COFFEE WE MAKE. 

In 1995, when business partners Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell began roasting coffee in a Marin County, Calif., garage, it marked the beginning of their journey to build a high-impact coffee company focused on quality, sustainability and social responsibility.

At the beginning, Brooke and Helen were content to define Equator as a boutique “concierge” roaster, determined to wow wholesale customers with outstanding coffee and service. Over time they realized they were uniquely positioned at the center of four communities—the farmers cultivating the coffee, the wholesale customers buying the coffee, the employees helping to grow the business, and, more recently, the local communities supporting Equator cafés. Learning how to be a good partner to each community became, and continues to be, a motivating force for doing business.

In the early years of Equator, at a time when very few coffee roasters knew which farm the coffees they purchased came from, Brooke went to Guatemala to visit coffee farms. It was this visit that gave Equator the foundation for learning the ways to establish lasting relationships with producers, as well as a better understanding of the struggles and challenges that the coffee farming communities face.

It is no surprise that the relationships they have nurtured through the years remain at the heart of Equator’s coffee program. Brooke and Helen routinely pay quality incentives to farmers, support farming community initiatives, and provide micro-loan credits—all to ensure Equator has a consistent supply of quality coffee. Only with those practices in place can Equator’s dedicated and experienced team here in Marin transform the farmers’ efforts into a quality cup of coffee so that you can enjoy the results of all their hard work.

 

EQUATOR MATTERS

WE SUPPORT PROJECTS AROUND THE WORLD THAT IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE AND FOOD SECURITY IN COFFEE GROWING REGIONS. 

In 2011, Equator was the first coffee roaster in the U.S. to become a certified B Corp., solidifying its role as a company that is part of a global movement redefining impact and success in business, while valuing everyone in the supply chain.

Continually finding inspiration from around the specialty coffee community, Brooke and Helen embarked on a farm project in partnership with coffee entrepreneur and consultant, Willem Boot. In 2007, Finca Sophia, a small coffee farm in Panama, was born. In 2015, it yielded its first small harvest, which they anticipate will be one of the world’s best coffees.

From our farmers’ communities to our local cafés, Equator’s mission is to create a positive impact. This is why we have an intense, loyal following. Whether it is Thomas Keller of the French Laundry or a customer visiting one of our cafés, when we say, “Our story lives in every cup we make,” we mean it.

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PRESS

see what others say about our company and our coffee.

Equator's New Spot Offers Good Coffee and a Quick Getaway by Molly Gore Read the article > 

Equator's New Spot Offers Good Coffee and a Quick Getaway
by Molly Gore
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Master Q&A: Helen Russell Business-Minded Sustainability Champion by Kenneth R. Olson  Read the article > 

Master Q&A: Helen Russell
Business-Minded Sustainability Champion

by Kenneth R. Olson 
Read the article > 

Inside Scoop: Equator Opens on Mid-Market by Paolo Lucchesi Read the article >

Inside Scoop:
Equator Opens on Mid-Market

by Paolo Lucchesi
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A New Generation of Coffee Professionals by The Specialty Coffee Chronicle Read the article >

A New Generation of Coffee Professionals
by The Specialty Coffee Chronicle
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Equator Coffees Rides Retail Wave by Josh Cain Read the article >

Equator Coffees Rides Retail Wave
by Josh Cain
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Sprudge's Equator Archive  by Staff Read the articles >

Sprudge's Equator Archive 
by Staff
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A Fine Cup O’ Josephine Women’s Touch Adds Distinction To Locally Roasted Coffees by Kirsten Jones Neff Read the article >

A Fine Cup O’ Josephine Women’s Touch Adds Distinction To Locally Roasted Coffees
by Kirsten Jones Neff
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Four Great Places to Grab a Coffee in San Francisco by Ellen Fort Read the article >

Four Great Places to Grab a Coffee in San Francisco
by Ellen Fort
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Four New Cafés in San Francisco by Marcia Gagliardi Read the article >

Four New Cafés in San Francisco
by Marcia Gagliardi
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