Co-founder of Marin County’s Equator Coffees wins North Bay Business Leadership Pride award

Helen Russel, co-founder and executive chair of San Rafael-based Equator Coffees, is a winner of North Bay Business Journal’s inaugural Pride Business Leadership Awards.

Tell us your story in your words: My partner Brooke and I started roasting coffee in 1995. We previously owned coffee bars but were not satisfied with the coffee we were able to buy wholesale. We knew we could offer a better product so we jumped into the roasting side of business.

Brooke has an incredible palate and trained herself to be a top notch roaster, I love selling things and would cold call every new cafe and restaurant I heard about.

We set out to create a company where we would source coffee ethically, roast it expertly, and support our wholesale accounts completely.

We wanted to grow a business where we would be proud to work. We’ve had slow sustainable and steady growth since then, pre-pandemic we were operating 8 of our own cafes, supporting 400 wholesale…

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