Building Equality Through Equitable Partnerships
- ABOUT US -
Text Edited and Arranged by Lauren Graves. Last Updated September 3rd, 2019.
I am often asked about the meaning of the “EQ” in our name. Well, EQ is a musical term that means equalizer. You’ve probably used the equalizer in your car to raise and lower the different frequencies and better balance the sound. Our mission at EQ Roasters is to function like an equalizer for people. We aim to elevate those who have been pushed down and strive to bring equality to the world. Read about our story and our mission to learn how we achieve this.
I began roasting coffee in January of 2015 when my wife Katie and I started a diet that did not allow us to consume sugar or dairy. This meant that we were prohibited from using cream and sugar in our coffee and thus forced to branch out and discover great coffee that did not need either to taste good. The problem with these great coffees is that they tend to cost $16 or more per pound. Taking matters into my own hands, I ordered green, unroasted coffee beans and learned to roast them myself at home.
I began roasting in a small popcorn popper. While it technically worked, this method was no match for our coffee consumption. I made the first of many upgrades by purchasing an electric, one-pound-capacity coffee roaster that kept up with the demands of our coffee loving ways. I was roasting delicious coffee with this and learning the craft with Katie when EQ Roasters was born and we quickly needed to increase our output.
In the early days of our business, our small but mighty EQ Roasters used a barbecue grill with a motorized spinning barrel for roasting greater quantities of beans and we managed to produce and get the word out about our coffee. We spent our first year operating under Michigan's Cottage Law, which allowed us to sell our beans by hand but not online or to churches and cafes. Once we got into the swing of things, we invested in the state of the art commercial roaster that we use today and became a licensed wholesale coffee producer, able to sell online and to the clients we pleased.
Making great coffee has always been part of our goal but the biggest factor in our decision to start EQ Roasters came from my work with teenage immigrants from impoverished countries. These teens taught me that people from their underprivileged nations regularly work long, hard days making great products for the Western World without being paid anything near a living wage for their efforts.
I came to realize that working on the backend of immigration was not enough for me. The work I was doing with these young men was meaningful and fulfilling, but these boys had experienced so much irreversible trauma. I decided that I needed to do more to try to make it so that others were not forced to leave their families and their countries for a chance at survival, as these teens were, and to protect immigrant workers from grossly unethical treatment. That is why we source our coffee from traceable and transparent importers that pay top dollar for the world's best coffees without taking advantage of those in need.
Our company cares about the fair and equal treatment of the growers, producers and consumers of our product. We make affordable coffee that is mindfully-produced with the promise that People > Profit. We will always put the well-being of others over that of our business. Join us in our mission to bring more balance to the world.
I hope you enjoy our coffee as much as we do!