In 1995, when business partners Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell started roasting in a garage in Marin County, it marked the beginning of a journey to build a high-impact coffee company focused on quality, sustainability and social responsibility. While our goals have remained the same, with more than 500 wholesale accounts and seven retail cafes, our team has grown to more than 100 employees.  

In 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration honored Equator by naming us the "National Small Business of the Year

Get to know the founders behind Equator Coffees here.



Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer

Brooke McDonnell is Co-founder and original Master Roaster and Green Coffee Buyer.  Brooke’s discerning palate and dedication to sourcing coffee from growers who practice responsible land stewardship in diverse growing regions helped build a coffee program of depth and quality.

Helen CEO


Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

As a co-founder and CEO, Helen leads Equator forward.  Under her leadership for more than twenty three years, Equator has grown from a small roaster and wholesale supplier into a national brand known for its values – driven approach, award winning coffee and impactful action around issues of environmentally sustainable and economic empowerment.


Maureen VP


Vice President of Operations

In her role as Vice President of the company and employee number one, she helps to continuously define and fine tune the company’s vision and ensure that all of Equator’s business operations are aligned with the company’s mission. Maureen has taken the lead on several of the company’s social responsibility and sustainability initiatives including B Corporation Certification. Maureen nurtures the initiatives, projects and people that work to empower women and communities in coffee growing regions around the world.


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