After being a litigator on Wall Street for decades, Hugo Coffee Roasters’ founder and CEO, Claudia McMullin, packed up and headed to the wild west in 1999. Claudia attended college in Boulder, CO, and fell in love with the west. Having family already rooted in Park City, the move to Utah made sense.
Claudia continued to practice law for a time; she also became an elected official serving on the Summit County Council for eight years. All the while, her passion for dogs took her in the direction of animal rescue, becoming the director of the non-profit organization, Friends of Animals, now Nuzzles and Co. Claudia herself has been rescuing dogs since her 20’s. Her lifelong passion (dare we say, fixation?) for dogs is the inspiration that sustains her vision.
Hugo Coffee is Born
“During my second term on the council, I learned that Silver Bean, the coffee kiosk in the Park City Visitors Center building, elected not to renew their lease and wanted to sell their equipment. Since I had frequented that coffee spot both as a lawyer and as a county counselor, for meetings and such, I thought, I need to fix that. So, I bought it.”
In 2015 Hugo Coffee Roasters was born, inspired by Claudia’s rescue dog, Hugo. From the beginning, she set out with a social good mission to save dogs by roasting and selling fair-trade coffee. Also, from the beginning, Hugo Coffee Roasters was fortunate to employ the talented coffee roaster from Silver Bean, John Lynn. Together, John and Claudia have created a variety of unique, vibrant, and full-bodied roasts.
The raw, green beans used to make Hugo Coffee roasts are organic and fair-trade. Beans are purchased from farms that pay a living wage and offer education and health care benefits to its employees. Each roast is aptly named with dog lingo in mind (“New Trick,” “Howler”) and roasted with the intention that the first cup of Hugo Coffee you ever taste, will taste just like the second, third, etc. Roasting happens in small batches, with care taken to every detail to produce a sophisticated but approachable brew, reaching all palates from super dark to very light. Claudia herself enjoys a French press of “Bonafido” every morning.
With every online purchase, we are able to support small animal rescues throughout the nation. Claudia also underwrites the local NPR station, “Adoptable Moment,” once a week, benefiting Paws for Life. Due to these efforts, Hugo Coffee Roasters has been instrumental in adopting out close to 200 dogs and cats in the past two years.
“Hugo coffee’s vision is to become the go-to coffee for animal lovers nationwide,” Claudia says. “My goal is to impact animal rescue’s throughout the country. The more I sell, the more animals I save.”