Interview with Claudia McMullin, Owner, Hugo Coffee Roasters
Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Claudia McMullin, owner of Hugo Coffee Roasters, located in Park City, Utah. What makes this company unique is its commitment to dog rescue. I also love the names of the coffees, which are dog inspired, which you can read more about in our interview below! Additionally, you can learn more about Hugo Coffee here.
KATHERINE CARVER: My husband and I recently learned of Hugo Coffee, and we love your mission supporting rescue dogs. How and when did Hugo Coffee come into existence?
CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: Hugo Coffee originated as a coffee shop in the Park City, Utah, Visitor Information Center in 2013. By 2014 we realized that, in order to serve our customers the highest quality blends with consistency and trust in our supply chain, it was important to develop our own roasting capabilities. Hugo Coffee Roasters was developed and currently provides a line of premium coffees, cold brew and espresso, which is sold in our retail shop and to numerous Utah wholesale customers, including grocery stores, restaurants, and corporations.
Hugo Coffee was founded by in 2015 and is named after my handsome rescue dog, Hugo. In a former life, I was the Executive Director of the animal rescue now known as Nuzzles & Co. Animal rescue is in my DNA and that of my brand! Hugo Coffee gives 8-10% of proceeds (not profit — meaning I give regardless of whether my company makes money) of all sales of its retail products to animal rescues.
Hugo Coffee’s Mission Statement: Hugo Coffee’s mission is to save dogs by roasting superior fair trade, organic coffee.
Hugo Coffee’s Vision Statement: Hugo Coffee’s vision is to become the go-to coffee for animal lovers nationwide.
Hugo Coffee’s Values and Promise: Hugo Coffee is a friendly, playful, caring company with a focus on community – “Coffee with a Paws.” Every time you drink a cup of Hugo Coffee, you are saving dogs too. So, enjoy a cup, save a pup, and turn your daily ritual into an act of kindness.
Our key messages are Dog Rescue and Superior Coffee. Our company motto is: “At Hugo Coffee we love two things: coffee and dogs … and not necessarily in that order.” Our hashtags include: #drinkcoffeesavedogs and #drinkhugobehappy.
KATHERINE CARVER: How did Hugo, the namesake of your business, come into your life?
CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: I am a foster failure of baby Hugo at three weeks old. Hugo came from a backyard breeder who tried to sell all of his puppies at three weeks of age and, when nobody bought Hugo, he dumped him at the local shelter. Hugo was immediately rescued by the rescue I was soon to lead, Friends of Animals Utah was the name at the time, which is now presently known as Nuzzles & Co. Hugo needed immediate fostering, and I volunteered. After bottle feeding that sweet pea (Hugo) I could never give him up.
KATHERINE CARVER: How did you become involved in dog rescue?
CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: I had always had rescue dogs my whole life and was always crazy for dogs (and all animals). I had been an attorney for a long time and really, really wanted NOT to be one anymore when I heard from a friend that my “dream job” had just become available – being the Executive Director of an animal rescue. So I applied, and got the gig!
KATHERINE CARVER: What dog rescue organizations do you support?
KATHERINE CARVER: Can you tell us a little bit about the products you offer for sale?
CLAUDIA MCMULLIN: You bet! Hugo Coffee offers a range of specially roasted coffees designed specifically and intentionally to appeal to a broad palette. Each roast is created by Master Roaster, John Lynn. John selects the importer, country of origin, and the farm from which to purchase the organic fair-trade green beans (note that although our beans are organically grown, they are not always organic-certified due to size of our small farm suppliers). He then skillfully creates the consistent roasts and flavor notes of each Hugo signature roasts. Each “recipe” is taught to all junior roasters and consistently reviewed for consistent quality assurance.
Each roast is intentionally named with a nod towards dogs. Specifically, from darkest to lightest roast, Hugo Coffee offers Black Paw (French Roast); Bonafido (Med-Dark Roast); Rollover Breakfast Blend (Medium Roast); Howler Espresso (Medium Roast); and New Trick (Light Roast). In addition, Hugo Coffee offers Downward Dog Decaf (Medium Roast); Dog Daze Cold Brew (Med-Dark Roast); and our Rotating Roasters’ Choice.
Hugo Coffee’s roasts are comprised of beans from various countries in various proportions and with various flavor notes as set forth immediately below:
- Black Paw® (French Roast): South American origin with flavor notes of burnt sugar, dark chocolate, and spice.
- Bonafido® (Med-Dark Roast): South American origin with flavor notes of bakers chocolate and dark fruit.
- Rollover Breakfast Blend® (Medium Roast): Peruvian origin with flavor notes of maple, milk chocolate, and nuts.
- Howler Espresso (Medium Roast): South American origin with flavor notes of chocolate, sweet dates, and toffee.
- New Trick® (Light Roast): Central American origin with flavor notes of nuts, floral, and sweet.
- Roasters Choice (Light Roast): Rotating single source bean from various countries and small farms selected by Master Roaster every 4-6 weeks.
- Downward Dog Decaf® (Medium Roast): blend of beans from various and changing countries with flavor notes of banana bread, caramel, and cocoa.
- Dog Daze Cold Brew® (Medium-Dark Roast): Central African origin with flavor notes of chocolate, nut, and spice.
KATHERINE CARVER: Where can people purchase your coffee, especially with the Holidays quickly approaching?
KATHERINE CARVER: Where can people find Hugo Coffee online?
*All images are courtesy of Hugo Coffee.