Our Team

Craig Hall, Co-Owner a.k.a. "The Dreamer" since 1998

craigWhat was the path that lead you to Equator? I graduated with a degree in International Development, and I didn't want to work for an institution. My entrepreneurial interest saw an opportunity to have a viable business, and pay the farmers more for their product.

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? In Rwanda's National Cupping Lab- it was super powerful and I hope we can get some of that here one day.

What is your favourite coffee pairing? Pizza

What are you most grateful for? Opportunity. We all have a chance here in Canada, and we're lucky to have it.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? At home with out four kids.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Find a way to have a little place in a Southern climate.

Craig's Picks: 

 


 

 Amber Hall, Co-Owner a.k.a. "Momma Bear" since 1998

What was the path that lead you to Equator? Craig's entrepreneurial spirit and vision, and the business model was in line with my own values. I spent the few years of Equator as a teacher, which allowed us to really dig into the business before we were able to generate an income.

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? We took a 1 month sabatical in Costa Rica before opening our current cafe here in Almonte - I can't say the blend, but it was our coffee, up in the mountains, overlooking the ocean while we were there.

What is your favourite coffee pairing? My feet up in a recliner with a good book.

What are you most grateful for? My family.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? At home managing our family, and as the current Board Chair of SchoolBOX.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Build an off-grid house on the water, and help my family eliminate any debt they have,

Amber's Picks: Earl E. Bird, Freiling French Press, Aeropress, and our Equator swag

 


 

Shannon Hoops-Ripley, Vice-Pres a.k.a. "The Dot Connector" since 2011

ShannonWhat was the path that lead you to Equator? After graduating from Latin American and Caribbean Studies program at McGill, I discovered that a career in coffee was an excellent way to apply my interests. 

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? In Monesteroli, Italy, 2000 steps down from civilization, brewed using my Aeropress in a cheap little cottage shack that we had to carry everything down to (and up from).

What is your favourite coffee pairing? Peanut butter

What are you most grateful for? Having a great life. I feel like I won the lottery by being born where I was, and who I was, and I can't do anything but to simply be grateful for it and give back in any way that I can,

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? Outside. Probably walking.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? That's a hard one.  How can you be sincere and not cheesy? To be honest, I'd want to take care of my family, help out my church, and give a lot of it away. Thankfully, the chances are pretty small of this ever happening!  Phew...

Shannon's Picks: Aeropress, Hand Burr Grinder, Bee's Knees


 

Regina Johnson, Office Manager and Order Desk a.k.a. "Straightshooter" since 2013

What was the path that lead you to Equator? I was looking for employment that would allow me to spend more time with my family. Equator was a perfect fit for me: I love the philosophy, and the employee approach- they trust their employees, and give us so much freedom of expression. There is so much respect here- for the employees, the customers, and the producers.

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? In Bascarsija, Sarajevo, during the 1984 Olympics. The second-best was my daily morning coffee with Bailey's at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. And my every day coffee here at Equator- my Americini, is my absolute favourite!

What is your favourite coffee pairing? Bailey's (on the weekend, of course)

What are you most grateful for? My family.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? At home, in my kitchen.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? I wuld use it to help those in need and contribute to a number of charities, It goes without saying - all 100% anonymously. I'd still want to work here, or be involved with Equator in some way, and would definitely go on a Schoolbox trip!

Regina's Picks: Mufferaw Jo, North Star Espresso, Bee's Knees


 

Amy Graat, Almonte Cafe Manager a.k.a. "Queen Bean" since 2015

What was the path that lead you to Equator? I wanted to work locally, and absolutely love coffee and Equator! It was important for me to work for a company where I love and respect the people, and felt a connection with/to the industry I was working in 

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? Sitting on the deck, when the mist was still on the water, at our old family cottage, on an island, up north. The coffee was whatever was up there, brewed with river water, in a perc over a gas stove.

What is your favourite coffee pairing? Chocolate

What are you most grateful for? Freedom

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? In my garden, or in the woods

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Buy that old cottage back, and dig out the perc! I'd also want to buy some land, and renovate my house

Amy's Picks: Ethiopian Dark, Stagg pour-over kettle, CJ400 scale


 

Jonny Marzano, Accounts Manager a.k.a. "Coffee Mate" since 2016

JonnyWhat was the path that lead you to Equator? I have 25 years experience working in the coffee industry in Australia, and Canada. I managed a local cafe for 3 years when I moved to Canada with my family, and accepted this position at Equator once I met Craig, Amber, and Shannon Hoops-Ripley: I knew instantly that they were the kind of genuine people that I wanted to work for.

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? At the World Expo in Melbourne- it perfectly matched the description, and tasted incredible 

What is your favourite coffee pairing? Silence

What are you most grateful for? Having a wonderful life.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator?

What would you do with 5 million dollars?

Jonny's Picks: 


 

 James King, Accounts Manager a.k.a. "Bean Broker" since 2017

What was the path that lead you to Equator? A friend who worked at Equator said that they could use a guy like me! 

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? At a resort in Mexico, the morning coffee. It was a fresh, bold, and complimented the scenery perfectly!

What is your favourite coffee pairing? Ideas.

What are you most grateful for? My family. (And the smell of the roastery on roasting days!)

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? Spending time with my family, camping, talking to people at coffee shops and learning their stories, and publishing the Shepherd's Guide.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Find the need- and give a lot away, then keep looking for ways to make the next 5 million! I wouldn't stop moving, working, and finding ways to help others.

James's Picks: Abomina-blend


 

Lyne Lamothe-Philips Bookkeeper a.k.a. "Bean Counter" since 2005 (?)

What was the path that lead you to Equator? I used to work in IT before I started doing freelance Bookeeping, I love Equator and so getting to work here is great!

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? I don't recall a specific "best" experience, but I definitely recall some bad ones!

What is your favourite coffee pairing? Pastries and Sweets.

What are you most grateful for? My son.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? On the tennis court, or cycling.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Travel. I'd start in Asia and go around the world a couple of times

Lyne's Picks: Maple Latte


 

Justin Francis, Head Roaster a.k.a. "The Tinkerer" since 2013

JustinWhat was the path that lead you to Equator? I was in between careers and had a mutual connection to Craig that suggested I apply here. I started in production but quickly developed and interest in everything coffee, so I jumped at the opportunity to be trained on the roaster!

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? Not necessarily the best, but a memorable coffee experience: I was camping in PEI in 2015 and had brought some Bee's Knees for the trip. We ended up sharing it with other random campers, and by the end of it I was dividing the rest of it out for people to take with them because they loved it so much

What is your favourite coffee pairing? No favourite, so I'd say I just love a coffee that matches its flavour profile.

What are you most grateful for? My family.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? Camping, fishing, or brewing beer.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Buy a hobby farm that was just big enough to have a self-sustaining lifestyle.

Justin's Picks: Ethiopian Dark


 

Eric Miller, Driver a.k.a. "Wheeler Dealer" since 2008

What was the path that lead you to Equator? I was head-hunted by someone I used to work with.

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? In an italian restaurant in Barrie. I was 21, and didn't know coffee could taste that good- I ordered 3 more!

What is your favourite coffee pairing? My rocking chair, in my kitchen, in front of my wood stove

What are you most grateful for? Waking up this morning. Any my cat- Mr. Kissed.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? Fishing on the baks of the Ottawa River.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Buy a cottage. Give most of it away.

Eric's Picks: North Star Espresso (Americanos!)


 

Noel MacGregor, Floor Manager a.k.a. "The Man behind the Curtain" since 2017

What was the path that lead you to Equator? I used to love going through Equator's drive through in Carleton Place, I've been buying it for home ever since. I was looking for a new job opportunity with a company that alligned with priorities and family life, so I jumped the opportunity to work for Equator.

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? I have it every day- it's my first cup every morning with my wife: she gets up 2 hours early to have it with me! It's Equator coffee, of course 

What is your favourite coffee pairing? My wife's company.

What are you most grateful for? My family, and finding a career with a company that understands the importance of family life.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? At home or in the barn with our two horses.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Buy my own farm in this areea, and a truck! I'd probably continue to work here, and my wife would go horse-crazy! I'd use the rest to plan adventures with my family.

Noel's Picks: Algonquin Dark, Abomina-Blend

 


 

Anna Summach, Production Assistant since 2017

What was the path that lead you to Equator? The Hall family are part of my extended family, and I love Equator!

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? Craig made me my first non-flavour-sweetened latte in the Almonte Cafe around 2010 and it knocked my socks off!

What is your favourite coffee pairing? My favourite chair in my house, while looking out the window at 7am every morning

What are you most grateful for? My family- my boys and supportive husband, and my extended church family.

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? At home.

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Be mortgage-free! I'd buy a new car, and invest in our church some way.

Anna's Picks: Mufferaw Jo, Abomin-Blend, Aeropress, Technovorm Moccamaster


 

Christena Holden, Production Assistant since 2017

What was the path that lead you to Equator? I wanted to work for a company that is focused on taking care of their producers as well as their local community.

What was/where was the best cup of coffee you ever had? My "office" coffee every morning!

What is your favourite coffee pairing? My husband's company.

What are you most grateful for? My amazing family- including my extended church family!

Where can you be found when you are not at Equator? Home, most likely board-gaming

What would you do with 5 million dollars? Buy a winter home in Costa Rica, donate to Schoolbox- including going on more builds (I've been on two so far), and travel

Christena's Picks: Mufferaw Jo, Aeropress