March is Women’s History Month; a time to celebrate and recognize the important achievements that women have made in our nation by telling their stories, illuminating their achievements, and supporting their causes.
We here at 820 Valencia St. are joining in the celebration and declaring it Boss Ladies Month at Fellow!
So what does that mean?
-> Throughout the month, our coffee program will be featuring a selection of women-owned/operated roasteries, from San Francisco all the way to the UK! Many of the featured coffees themselves have also come from farms and cooperatives run by women.
-> We will be hosting a Women in Coffee Event in our space to develop and encourage connections within our thriving community, as well as invite women leaders of the industry to facilitate a forum in which we can discuss current affairs (a portion of ticket proceeds will go to International Women’s Coffee Alliance).
-> Not in the area? Local artist Zai Divecha of Elektra Steel will be designing a one-of-a-kind Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle, which will be raffled off to a lucky winner in our online raffle. Proceeds will be donated to a charity benefiting women of the artist’s choice. More to come on this!
… in addition to this, we will be hosting events throughout the month featuring other Boss Ladies, such as Trish Rothgeb of Wrecking Ball Roasters, Lauren Tanner of Out in Tech, and Emmeline Wang of Equator Coffees & Teas!
We here at Fellow are proud to have the opportunity to join in the celebration, and elevate the incredible women in our community and beyond.
GIRLS WHO GRIND COFFEE
Wiltshire, United Kingdom | @girlswhogrindcoffee
The Boss Ladies: Fi O’Brien and Casey Lalonde
The Story: “Girls Who Grind is an all-female coffee roaster run by us, Fi O’Brien (left) and Casey Lalonde (right). Casey, originally from Upstate New York began her coffee career as a kickass roaster working in a coffee lab and roastery in Vermont. Fi, originally from Melbourne, has always swayed between working in design and cafe ownership/management. Both now living in Frome, Somerset with our fams, our destined paths met and our roastery ownership dreams have come true on a farm, in the wild Wiltshire town of Upton Scudamore! (Don’t worry, we didn’t know where that was either!)
It’s no secret that the coffee industry is a very male-dominated world, so we’re here to big up the ladies in the coffee industry, from female farmers through to the coffee drinkers, sourcing all of our coffees from female producers and farmers and those who work to support them. Not only is the taste of the coffee important to us, but also the incredible stories behind them.” – Fi O’Brien and Casey Lalonde
Coffee: Lake Kivu
Origin: DR Congo
Notes: Syrupy, Floral, Marmalade
EQUATOR COFFEES AND TEAS
San Francisco, CA | @equatorcoffees
The Boss Ladies: Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell
The Story: “In 1995, when business partners Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell began roasting coffee in a Marin County, Calif., garage, it marked the beginning of their journey to build a high-impact coffee company focused on quality, sustainability and social responsibility.
At the beginning, Brooke and Helen were content to define Equator as a boutique “concierge” roaster, determined to wow wholesale customers with outstanding coffee and service. Over time they realized they were uniquely positioned at the center of four communities—the farmers cultivating the coffee, the wholesale customers buying the coffee, the employees helping to grow the business, and, more recently, the local communities supporting Equator cafés. Learning how to be a good partner to each community became, and continues to be, a motivating force for doing business.
It is no surprise that the relationships we have nurtured through the years remain at the heart of our coffee program. Brooke and Helen routinely pay quality incentives to farmers, support farming community initiatives, and provide micro-loan credits—all to ensure Equator has a consistent supply of quality coffee. Only with those practices in place can Equator’s dedicated and experienced team here in Marin transform the farmers’ efforts into a quality cup of coffee so that you can enjoy the results of all their hard work.” – Equator Coffees and Teas
Coffee: Finca Himalaya
Origin: El Salvador
Notes: Dark Cherry, Molasses, Baking Spices
PEIXOTO COFFEE ROASTERS
Chandler, AZ | @peixotocoffee
The Boss Lady: Julia Peixoto Peters
The Story: “Born and raised in a family with over 150 years of tradition of farming coffee in Brazil, I was the youngest of three girls watching my father and his family farm coffee, and year-after-year, when it was time to sell the coffees on the C-market they were rarely compensated for the costs of production or able to sell for what the coffee was worth. My family never encouraged me to be involved in coffee because all they knew was the risky side of farming coffee and they wanted, daughters, to have a safer living. So I followed the path laid out for me. I studied law in Brazil, and, when I graduated, I came to the US to study international trade, got a job, a house, a husband, and had two beautiful kids. I had a picture-perfect life but there was a voice inside telling me what I was not living the truest and most purposeful life I could live. When my grandfather passed away in 2012 I came to realize that my father – then 70 years old – was the last one in his family still farming coffee. I felt this drive inside my stronger than ever to keep my family’s legacy alive beyond the life of my father. I wanted to make justice to all my family’s hard work, connecting my community of coffee farmers in Brazil with my community of coffee drinkers in Arizona where I lived. So I followed my calling and took a leap of faith in 2014 to start Peixoto Coffee in 2015. Both my husband and I left our corporate jobs and all the perks that came with it to live my dream.
My vision to keep my family’s coffee legacy alive and to create a market for farmers to put their coffees directly into the end-consumers’ cup continues to be our north-star today. Peixoto Coffee is now a coffee roaster and shop located just outside of Phoenix, AZ which serves and distributes my family specialty grade coffee to the AZ and US market. Peixoto Coffee is one of less than a handful of coffee business in the US that farms, roasts, serves and distributes our own coffees. Peixoto also innovates when it comes to the level of transparency in our sourcing model, offering complete traceability from our farm to the cup.” – Julia Peixoto Peters
Coffee: Peixoto Honey
Notes: White Grapes, Dates, Milk Chocolate
ANDYTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS
San Francisco, CA | @andytownsf
The Boss Lady: Lauren Crabbe
The Story: “Andytown Coffee Roasters was founded in 2014 by Michael McCrory and Lauren Crabbe to bring specialty coffee roasting to the Outer Sunset in San Francisco. Our goal is to make specialty coffee a welcoming, comfortable, and extraordinary experience.” – Andytown Coffee Roasters
Bedhatu Jibicho is the producer behind the Andytown coffee featured in the Fellow Playground. She is an octogenarian who has managed her farm for over 50 years. She takes great pride in her work and taught her sons to ensure the quality of each harvest. In Lot 3, you’ll find delicious black tea notes, bright florals, and delightful plum juiciness. Bedhatu has been working in coffee since the 1960s, and takes great pride in the fact that she’s managed operations for more than five decades, claiming the role well before her husband died in 1991. Her coffees are separated in to separate micro-lots at the Banko Gotit washing station. Now well into her 80s, her operation is still going strong and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Coffee: Bedhatu Jibicho
Notes: Black Tea, Floral, Plum
SLATE COFFEE ROASTERS
Seattle, WA | @slatecoffee
The Boss Lady: Lisanne Walker
The Story: “At the age of 62, I am still a work in progress. This is my first job as a boss, and I believe that accepting responsibility for my words and actions is as powerful as trying to act like I’ve got it all together. Maya Angelou has a quote, “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a b!tch. You’ve got to go out and kick a$$.” While I feel like that those words might be a little strong, I do feel that learning how to empower myself as a woman has been the greatest lesson on empowering other women on Slate’s team.
It is wonderful being a leader of Slate’s employees and seeing them strive to be their best and develop expertise in their demanding roles. We encourage our whole team to discover their talents, passions, and strengths within themselves and the coffee industry; and to pursue them with enthusiasm! This process tasks our employees with facing their challenges and bravely working through them. And that is truly fierce.” – Lisanne Walker, CEO of Slate Coffee Roasters
Coffee: El Ramal
Notes: Caramel, Citrus, Toffee
Come BYOC (brew your own coffee) in the Fellow Playground at 820 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA, 94110! We’re open Monday-Saturday 11AM-7PM and Sunday 12PM-6Pm.