Gardner Commons Welcomes Hugo Coffee


Cass Palor

Carolyn and Kern Gardner Building at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Photo by Cassandra Palor | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Linda Derhak

Hugo Coffee is coffee with a cause. Their motto is “Drink coffee that saves dogs,” and their products are available in Gardner Commons. Proceeds go to animal rescues and shelters. Since May, the company has raised several thousand dollars to help animals. They specialize in pour-overs, cold brews and spritzers — they source from farms that pay living wages and they use high quality organic beans.

Hugo Coffee is named after the owner’s dog, Hugo, who was a rescue. The owner, Claudia McMullin, was a lawyer for many years. She was put on a chamber board that had a visitor center offering coffee. After a year, center didn’t renew their lease.

“I used to go there for meetings, and I really enjoyed it and didn’t want to be a lawyer anymore,” McMullin said. “So, I bought it and ran a coffee shop. I wanted to control my own product, so I opened my own roasting company. I created this company with a great product that saves dogs.”

The quality of the coffee is very high. 

“We play in the sandbox with the best coffee in the state when it comes to the quality of our beans,” McMullin said. They have six blends from dark to light. They support organic farms across the globe that treat their workers fairly. One of Hugo Coffee’s favorite farms to source from is in Brazil. The farm provides their workers with medical care and schooling for their families.  

John Lynn, who runs roasting and production, does all of the buying and sourcing from farms. “I enjoy sourcing. It’s my favorite part to bring in new coffees, and work with new importers.” Lynn got his start working in coffee shops and began roasting in his garage in an old popcorn popper. He’s been with Hugo Coffee for three years.

McMullin also ran an animal rescue for two years: Nuzzles and Co. 

“[Hugo Coffee] rebranded in 2018 to add the animal rescue component. We will pop up next to any animal rescue at any event and sell our bags of coffee and give the proceeds to the shelter,” said McMullin. “The U decided to benefit Nuzzles and Co.”

This means every time someone buys a product from Hugo Coffee at Gardner Commons, proceeds are given to Nuzzles and Co. to save animals.

Nuzzles and Co. is a private, non-profit, no-kill shelter that does pet rescue and adoption. Their website states, “We save the most vulnerable animals from our region’s euthanasia shelters, giving them all the medical care, nourishment, training, socialization, TLC, and time they need till we find them forever families.”

Next weekend, Hugo Coffee is going to be tabling at the Silly Market in Park City. Of course, the proceeds will go to Nuzzles and Co. “Every week we go to at least one popup event that benefits animals,” McMullin said. 

“We give back to animal rescue for all of our bags sold,” Lynn said. With their bags of coffee now available for purchase at Gardener Commons, students too can benefit Nuzzles and Co.

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