SAVING DOGS ONE SIP AT A TIME: Hugo Coffee Roasters Turns Daily Ritual into Kindness

By Ted Scheffler


Claudia McMullin, the owner of Park City’s Hugo Coffee Roasters, says that five years or so down the road she’d like to become the “go-to coffee for animal lovers worldwide.” So what does coffee have to do with animals? Well, it has to do with an epiphany the McMullin experienced. 

You see, a percentage of every retail bag of Hugo Coffee sold goes toward saving animals. Hugo is a mission-based company whose mission is to save dogs “by roasting fantastic, fair trade, organic coffee.”


McMullin explains how the notion for Hugo Coffee Roasters came to her. “The social mission aspect of the company came to me in an epiphany in the shower when I was trying to figure out how to truly and authentically distinguish Hugo Coffee from its many competitors. I decided that since animal rescue is in my DNA, and the company is named after my rescue dog Hugo, that Hugo Coffee Roasters should save animals by donating a percentage of all retail bag sales to accredited animal rescues.” Beneficiaries include Best Friends Animal Society Utah and Nuzzles & Co.

And so each bag of coffee sold helps to feed dogs in shelters. As they say at Hugo Coffee, “Enjoy a cup, save a pup, and turn your daily ritual into an act of kindness.” It’s “Coffee with a Paws.” 

Before starting Hugo Coffee Roasters, McMullin was an attorney. She says, “I started Hugo Coffee Roasters after I purchased a coffee shop from Silver Bean because I wanted to vertically integrate and control the quality of the coffee I provided to my customers. And, of course, because I wanted to save animals!”

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McMullin points to her husband, Tim Douglas, and her CFO Frances Fu as being the individuals who provided the most support while getting Hugo Coffee Roasters off the ground. She also gives props to the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program for their assistance. 

For anyone considering embarking on a venture similar to Hugo Coffee Roasters, McMullin advises, “It is much, much more expensive than you can imagine to start and self-fund a manufacturing company!” I think I speak for dog lovers the world over when I say that I feel honored to have a company like Hugo Coffee Roasters in our community. It’s an outfit that in the very best way has gone to the dogs.


Hugo Coffee Roasters products can be found at Amazon, Harmons, Whole Foods, The Market in Park City, The Store, and at various animal-related shops and companies.

Richard Markosian