Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell of the 18-year-old pioneering California coffee roastery Equator Coffees & Teas are taking over a much-beloved retail space run by their friend and colleague Arnold Spinelli.
Spinelli, a coffee industry veteran and former Alfred Peet mentee, is turning over the La Coppa coffee bar space at 2 Miller Ave. in Mill Valley. It will become the second retail bar for Marin-based Equator, which opened its first earlier this summer in the Proof Lab surf shop, also in Mill Valley, after years of cultivating direct relationships with its supplying farmers. Equator is currently in the process of setting up an outdoor espresso bar at the new downtown shop, with tentative plans to open the full indoor bar early next year.
In a letter shared with Daily Coffee News, Russell recalls how she and McDonnell have been visiting Spinelli’s coffee shops for years, offering glowing reviews of Spinelli’s enduring place in the local community, writing:
Coffee shops are living things. A good one serves good coffee, but a great one fuels connectedness, a sense of belonging, a commitment to dependably brightening your day—a constant even as the world outside churns and changes. A great coffee shop is your home away from home, a hub of faces you know. And LaCoppa was a great one.