Despite what those scarf-clad leafsayers may think, we’ve still got a few technical weeks of summer left, and as such, we’ve still got a few more entries in our 2014 edition of Build-Outs of Summer, a globetrotting series of early looks at new specialty coffee bars. The latest comes from San Francisco, a quaint, affordable town with a clean, low-key vibe…we kid, we kid. San Francisco is about as Type A as it gets these days, which makes any set of influences from outside the technobubble especially valuable.
Enter our friends and partners at Equator Coffee, who’ve been roasting coffee in nearby Marin County for the better part of two decades. A certified B Corporation with serious sustainability cred, Equator opened their first-ever retail cafe in Mill Valley back in 2013, and now have their sights set on a cafe on San Francisco’s Market Street. We predict they’ll be bringing a dash of North Bay realness to America’s most #viral thoroughfare.
As told to Sprudge by Molly Gore.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
Our new café sits in the historic Warfield Building. Built in 1922, the space (formerly the Lowes Warfield), grew from a vaudeville theater and movie palace into the iconic performing venue that hosted the likes of Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead. Equator was drawn to the spot for the beautiful blend it offers: rooted in San Francisco’s colorful past, and now at the heart of the city’s most quickly-evolving sector.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Sustainability is at the heart of our approach, and always has been. We focus on environmentally responsible cultivation methods as carefully as we do quality and flavor. Our process rests in the sweet spot between quality, empowerment, and stewardship. We believe that quality is the linchpin of empowering initiatives, and the key to raising quality of life at origin. We’ve devoted ourselves to projects throughout the years to support women’s empowerment, sustainability, and human rights. We maintain an exacting standard when it comes to roasting and brewing in order to maintain the integrity of the green coffee we buy, to honor and preserve the characteristics imbued by place, cultivation, and processing.
Next year, we’ll be collecting our first harvest from Finca Sofia, our farm in Panama that cultivates only the rare Gesha variety.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
What’s your hopeful target opening month?
We’re looking at November.
Are you working with craftsmen/women, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We’re working with Boor Bridges Architecture, who’ve done stunning work for us in the past at Proof Lab Surf Shop and our upcoming store at 2 Miller Avenue in downtown Mill Valley. They are also the design minds behind The Mill, Sightglass, and Trou Normand. We’re also working with our carpenter Dan Dafoe of All Phase Builders, who has been integral in manifesting our design dreams.