LAGUNA BEACH, CA (December 9, 2023) – Equator Coffees, the Marin-based B Corp coffee roaster known for community impact locally and at coffee origin, today announced the opening of their latest cafe in Laguna Beach, in the newly opened Rivian South Coast Theater. Located in the historic South Coast Theater on the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, Equator’s newest cafe will be situated in Rivian’s new flagship retail location, offering opportunities to experience their electric vehicles, view film screenings, and much more. This opening caps off a busy year for the Equator brand, including a new location in LA’s Fairfax District, re-opening in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, and expanding reach through new wholesale partnerships and the launch of their ready to drink bottled cold brew.
“Since our first cafe, each of our locations have been spaces for gathering, where all are welcome,” said Helen Russell, Co-founder and Executive Chair of Equator Coffees. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Rivian to open this cafe and join the vibrant Laguna Beach community.”
The location, which dates back to 1935, is an example of Rivian’s preference for adaptive reuse of existing structures whenever possible. Recognizing the South Coast Theater’s historic and cultural significance to the Laguna community, Rivian worked closely with preservationists and community leaders throughout the 11,000+ square foot property’s multi-year restoration. The project allowed Rivian to apply for historic designation, and the theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places in March 2023. As an homage to the plein air murals that once graced the theater’s walls when it originally opened as New Lynn Theater in 1935, Rivian hired Southern California-based landscape artist Ariel Lee to create new works for the space which feature the mountains, deserts, and beaches of Southern California.
“Inspiration from the local community and its values can be found in almost all facets of our Laguna Theater, including our food and beverage partner for the space. Equator Coffees’ focus on details beyond coffee making, from community impact and customer experience to sustainable and ethical offerings, checked all the boxes of what we believe Laguna Beach and the greater Orange County area will appreciate and celebrate in a new cafe operator and neighbor,” said Mike Voegtlin, Director of Spaces Operations at Rivian.
As always, the cafe will serve up specialty coffee and signature drinks, as well as pastries from LA’s Farm Shop and a cafe menu featuring their fan-favorite Frittata Sandwich. Equator plans to partner with Rivian to support programming and events at the new space that will engage and enrich the community such as speaker series, film screenings, family friendly activities, and more.
To celebrate Equator’s new location in Laguna Beach, 10% of the cafe’s opening week sales will be donated to the Laguna Canyon Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving, protecting, enhancing, and promoting the 22,000-acre South Coast Wilderness, home to the county’s only remaining natural lakes, a thriving wildlife community, nature centers and interpretive programs, volunteer opportunities, and recreational activities from hiking and birding to mountain biking.
Equator Coffees Laguna Beach is located in Rivian South Coast Theater at 160 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA, directly across from Main Beach Park on Pacific Coast Highway, and convenient to the city’s many art galleries, coves, and surf spots. For more information, visit www.equatorcoffees.com and follow along on Instagram at @equatorcoffees.
About Equator Coffees
In 1995, Equator Founders Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell began their values-driven path, roasting coffee in a Marin County, CA garage. Possessing an obsessive commitment to green coffee sourcing and unparalleled roasting expertise, Helen and Brooke have committed over 28 years to sustainable and fair trade coffee practices all in the name of creating a remarkable coffee experience for consumers. Today, Equator Coffees is a retail and wholesale coffee roaster and coffee farm owner with twelve retail cafes throughout California—from Marin County to San Francisco to Los Angeles and beyond. Throughout the years, Equator Coffees has spearheaded industry-leading sourcing and roasting practices, and has forged progressive partnerships with Michelin-starred chefs, specialty grocers, tech campuses, and more. Women-owned, LGBTQ-founded and an early adopter of Fair Trade certification, Equator Coffees is the first California coffee roaster to achieve B Corp Certification. www.equatorcoffees.com
Rivian exists to create products and services that help our planet transition to carbon neutral energy and transportation. Rivian designs, develops, and manufactures category-defining electric vehicles and accessories and sells them directly to customers in the consumer and commercial markets. Rivian complements its vehicles with a full suite of proprietary, value-added services that address the entire lifecycle of the vehicle and deepen its customer relationships. Learn more about the company, products, and careers at www.rivian.com.