Bikes, Breakfasts, and More Mark Equator Coffees’ 2024 Pride

The Bay Area-based roaster-retailer—and pioneering LGBTQ+-owned business—is planning Pride events on Instagram and in its community.


Photos courtesy of Equator Coffees

It’s June, which means Pride Month festivities are underway for specialty-coffee people and companies around the globe. For Equator Coffees, the San Francisco Bay Area-based roaster-retailer, this year’s Pride will be marked by bike rides, bagels, and more exciting celebrations.

Like many LGBTQ+-founded businesses, Equator celebrates Pride 12 months a year, but it ramps up the festivities each June to mark the annual occasion.

“Since our inception, we’ve strived to create a welcoming and supportive environment not only within our company but also in the broader community,” says Shelby Colley, Equator Coffees’ head of marketing. “Being LGBTQ+ founded means that we are deeply committed to supporting and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community through various initiatives and partnerships.”

Five percent of sales from Equator’s limited-edition Pride T-shirts will go to the nonprofit Rainbow Railroad.

Boosting a Like-Minded Nonprofit

Each month, Equator donates $1 from every pourover sold in its cafés to a different nonprofit as part of its Cup for a Cause program. For Pride Month, the company will donate the pourover dollars—and 5% of sales from its limited-edition crew neck and scoop neck Pride T-shirts—to Rainbow Railroad, a global nonprofit that helps LGBTQ+ individuals “escape violence and persecution in their home countries,” according to Equator.

“Every year, we put out an open call to all Equator employees to nominate nonprofits for our Cup for a Cause program,” says Shelby. “We want to hear from our team of caring individuals about the orgs that they feel should be celebrated. Rainbow Railroad was nominated by our Director of Coffee Culture Devorah Freudiger.”

Equator co-founder Helen Russell (right) will take part in an Instagram Live chat this month with Emily Winston (left), founder of Boichik Bagels.

Founders in Conversation

In addition to the Rainbow Railroad partnership, Equator is celebrating Pride through several special events. Among them will be an Instagram Live conversation on Thursday, June 20, between Equator founders Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell, and Emily Winston, founder of Bay Area-based Boichik Bagels.

“It’s such a great opportunity to bring together two Bay Area-, LGBTQ+-, women-founded organizations!” explains Shelby. “We serve Boichik Bagels at several of our locations, and one of our cafés is just a door down from their location in Marin. Helen, Brooke, and Emily will discuss their experiences establishing their businesses, and why it’s important to them to work with and partner with other LGBTQ+-owned businesses.”

Cyclists from the 2023 Pride Ride.

Taking to the Streets

A couple of days after the Instagram Live event, Equator will host its Pride Ride, taking place June 22 in collaboration with Mike’s Bikes.

“We’ve hosted a ride every year on New Year’s Eve for many years (the “Tour d’Equator”), but last year we added a Pride Ride for the first time, and we’re so delighted to see the community really embrace the new tradition,” Shelby says. “The ride begins at our Round House location, right at the mouth of the Golden Gate Bridge, winds up Mount Tamalpais for a celebratory toast, and wraps up at our café in Sausalito.”

Details and tickets for the Pride Ride—which for the first time is part of the Sausalito Pride event schedule—are available here.

Equator will sponsor the coffee service at San Francisco’s Pride for Breakfast on June 29.

Kicking Off S.F. Pride

Finally, Equator will sponsor the coffee service at San Francisco’s Pride for Breakfast, taking place Saturday, June 29. The event is part of San Francisco Pride, a weekend-long series of festivities that will culminate in the SF Pride LGBT Parade on June 30.

“We are so honored and excited to join in the SF Pride festivities this year at Pride for Breakfast,” says Shelby. “So much about the event aligns with who Equator is—focusing on community, getting out there and active, and starting the day with a great cup of coffee. More than anything, we are excited to show up and celebrate.”

For more on Equator and its Pride celebrations, check out its website here.

Cover of June + July 2024 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Mikael Jasin of Indonesia.

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About Chris Ryan 263 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.