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True to their emphasis on supporting local, this sign at Equator Coffee was made by Gas Light Electric, 30 minutes from Ottawa. All photos by John Aung.

Foodie Friday: Supporting Local at Equator Coffee

By Meg Marshall on May 29, 2015



Let’s be honest, it was the bright and shiny “coffee” sign that could be seen while standing at the corner of Richmond Road and Churchill Avenue that initially drew me in. Equator Coffee is located right in the heart of Westboro, just slightly off the beaten path on Churchill. Once you step inside, be prepared to have your senses enlightened. Everything about the café and the products it sells have all been strategically and diligently planned out. Recently, I got the pleasure to sit down over, you guessed it, a cup of java to learn more about Equator Coffee with café manager Chris Petrie.

Hot ChcolateEquator Coffee and its Roots

You may recognize the Equator name and brand, as it is served in various establishments throughout Ottawa. Art Is In Bakery, Morning Owl, Café Qui Pense, and Green Rebel are just a few that proudly carry this Ottawa brand. Equator coffee has actually been around for quite some time. It was established 15 years ago by husband and wife duo consisting of Craig and Amber Hall. They ethically buy coffee beans through a North American coop since the Canadian climate is not suited to growing them.  After the beans are purchased and acquired, everything is done at the nearby Almonte roastery, just west of the city. Beans are freshly roasted 3 to 4 times a week.

Come and Stay Awhile

“Coffee shops are modern day pubs,” states Petrie, and I whole heartedly agree with him.  People want to consistently enjoy a cup of high quality coffee coupled with a place to relax and hang out. More and more coffee shops are popping up around the city every year. Equator Coffee is certainly different from the others. Petrie brings his down under Australian experience to Ottawa. He plays a big role in the café from the initial store set up, staff training, to the daily operations. One of the Aussie isms that was incorporated, was the spaciousness between tables and seating. Being in Westboro, it does cater to a lot of families and subsequently strollers. If patrons are going to enjoy their coffee and stay, then they need to do so in a comfortable way.  Petrie also explained his belief that coffee lovers should enjoy their beverage prepared the right way. The baristas here are trained by Petrie himself and are taught the best methods, including weighing the shot. I can honestly say, the drinks may take a little longer to make, but the quality is extremely high and they taste delicious.

SeatingHyper Local

Don’t expect Equator to be opening cafes on every street corner yet.  Instead, they are going to be continuing to focus on the wholesale market of the coffee beans and ensuring the Westboro café becomes the best coffee shop in Ottawa. Petrie and his team hope to raise the standards of coffee in the area. Equator is local, and one of the company beliefs is supporting other local businesses. I always drool over the brown butter cookies and they are made by 2nd Avenue Sweets. Other baked goods come from Nat’s Bread,  meat comes  from the Piggy Market, and dairy products come from Brums Dairy. Oh, and the light up “coffee” sign that drew my attention was handmade thirty minutes west of Ottawa by the fine folks at Gas Light Electric.

Do the right thing and treat yourself to a great cup of coffee and support this new café in Westboro.

Equator Coffee‘s Westboro coffee bar is located at 412 Churchill Ave. N., and is open 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pmSaturday, and 9am to 4pm Sunday. You can reach them at 613.722.1919 or