We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia McMullin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Claudia, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Hugo Coffee Roasters brands are on a mission to save animals and we do so by raising awareness of animal rights and welfare as well as by donating money to small animal rescues and sanctuaries.

Do you know the difference between an animal shelter and animal rescue? I bet not. Most don’t. Even animal lovers. Shelters kill over 92M dogs and cats a year in the US. On the other hand, rescues SAVE 3.2M dogs and cats from these kill shelters annually. Similarly, most people don’t know that farm animal sanctuaries even exist. They do! They rescue farm animals from the horrors of the food industry and provide them a safe place to live out their natural lives.

I am an animal nut. I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember. In a former life, I ran the animal rescue, Nuzzles & Co. In addition to being an animal lover, I am also a coffee lover, and thought: “What if something we consume with caffeinated vigor could be tied to animal rescue?” That is how my brands Hugo Coffee and then Fluffy Cow Coffee were born.
Hugo Coffee Roasters brands, Hugo Coffee and Fluffy Cow Coffee, are brands with an animal welfare mission. Hugo Coffee products benefit dog/cat rescues and Fluffy Cow Coffee products benefit farm animal sanctuaries and promote a plant based lifestyle.

Why tie animal philanthropy with commerce? Because consumers WANT to know that their purchase choice will make a difference. Millions of consumers love animals, often understand that they too are sentient beings who feel love, pain, and loneliness, AND want their purchase to have an impact.

How do we impact animal rescues/sanctuaries? We do this via weeklong, weekly online fundraisers that benefit a specific small rescue or sanctuary. The animal welfare world is one which is comprised of a web of thousands of mutually supportive small, largely volunteer based organizations working together with few resources but millions of supporters. In addition to loving animals, these wonderful folks share one other thing in common: a lack of sufficient financial resources.

So, we partner weekly with one of these small organizations and donate $2.50 for every item sold on our websites during the course of that week. We do this because our donations – whether $100 or $500 – has an immediate impact! In 2021 alone we partnered with over 40 organizations and donated thousands of dollars.

We also underwrite our local NPR station’s “adoptable moment” benefitting Paws for Life and every single week the animal(s) highlighted find their forever home. Every. Single. Week. Hugo Coffee Roasters has been responsible for the adoption of hundreds of dogs/cats through this partnership alone.

Our vision at Hugo Coffee is to be the go to coffee for animal lovers nationwide. What fuels our passion (in addition to caffeine) is our desire for a world free of animal cruelty and neglect. We have a LOT of work to do!

What should our readers know about your business?
What sets Hugo Coffee Roasters apart from its many competitors is four-fold: (1) Hugo Coffee is WBENC certified, (2) in addition to its robust online presence, Hugo Coffee is sold nationwide in grocery chains and has an extensive food service revenue stream, (3) As a former ED of an animal rescue, I understand who does the real work of animal rescue and support those organizations directly and weekly, and (4) I don’t rely just on my mission – my coffee is fantastic, fair-trade and organic.

With respect to the animal welfare mission, I really do not want to say I give x% of profits or sales or whatever metric because this does not feel authentic to me. We did that for a bit while I tried to figure out a giveback that felt authentic and right. Ultimately, we came up with a model whereby we host weekly weeklong online fundraisers for a specific small animal rescue or sanctuary and donate $2.50 for every item sold on the website during that week to that specific rescue/sanctuary.

I am equally proud of our animal welfare mission and coffee quality. What excites me is the immediate impact our weekly donation to a specific animal rescue/sanctuary has on the quality of the animals lives!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my bff visited me for a week, we’d start in fabulous Park City, Utah skiing, x-country skiing and dining out. I’d ski at Park City Mountain Resort, x-country outside my home in Kamas, UT, and dine in the following restaurants: Blue Sky Auberge’s Yuta, Oquirrh, Arlo, and St. Regis’ Rime. And, of course, we’d have coffee at my former coffee shop, Hugo Coffee!

Then we would head south to Zions and hike Angel’s Landing. Then over to Kanab to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and hike the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Then off to Page Arizona for Antelope Canyon hikes and boating on Lake Powell!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to my Peer to Peer mentor group! This group of female founders are all graduates (with me) of the 2020 Stacy’s Rise Grant/Mentor Program. We meet weekly to support each other on our consumer package goods journey! The program has been over for over 1 year but we still meet because we absolutely love each other. So.. shout out to Nina Tickaradze (Nadi), Sophia Maroon (Dress It Up Dressing), Maria Palacio (Progeny Coffee) and Junita Flowers (Junita’s Jars). I wouldn’t be here without the support of these magnificent women!

Website: https://hugo.coffee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehugocoffee/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/hugo-coffee-roasters

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thehugocoffee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehugocoffee

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwVVlbey6JpmfE5m3YH7vyg/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=0

Image Credits
Cali Warner

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.