Hugo Coffee Roasters boosts reach in nationwide animal rescue thanks to ThoughtLab grant |

Hugo Coffee Roasters boosts reach in nationwide animal rescue thanks to ThoughtLab grant

Hugo Coffee Roasters owner Claudia McMullin holds bags of her company’s New Trick cold brew, a new product made possible by a grant from ThoughtLab, a marketing firm in Salt Lake City. McMullin is also working with ThoughtLab on Hugo Coffee initiatives that will make positive impacts on pet-rescue projects in the nation. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Hugo Coffee Roasters is poised to make an impact on animal rescue around the nation thanks to a couple of direct-to-consumer online sales programs made possible by a grant from ThoughtLab, a digital marketing agency in Salt Lake City.

Since the grant was announced in May, Hugo Coffee director of marketing Lydia Martinez has worked with ThoughtLab on solidifying these programs.

“The first thing we wanted to do was broaden our influencer marketing program,” Martinez said

“We work with partners who are dog lovers, outdoor adventurer lovers and animal-rescue supporters who love coffee to help us spread the word about Hugo and put us on the radar of more people who are like those influencers.”

This marketing program will start cropping up on Hugo Coffee’s social media outlets in the next few weeks, she said.

The second program involves affiliate marketing, Martinez said.

“We are working with different brands and companies to promote Hugo Coffee Roasters to their much-larger audiences,” she said. “We are looking at everything from news organizations to nonprofits to bloggers and podcasters.”

Hugo, which gives 10% of its profits to animal rescues in Utah, is currently in the process of approving affiliate partners and influencers who have applied to represent the brand, according to Martinez.

“We expect within the next two to three weeks for things to start coming out,” she said.

These programs will help Hugo owner Claudia McMullin share her love of pet rescue.

“Pet rescue is part of my DNA,” said McMullin, the former executive director for Friends of Animals Utah, before it became Nuzzles & Co. “Hugo is named after my handsome animal rescue from Nuzzles, and since my passion is animal rescue, my goal is to impact animal rescue nationwide by appealing to dog and coffee lovers. For me, an ideal world would be one with no unloved, abused or neglected animals.”

During the initial meetings with ThoughtLab, Martinez presented all of Hugo’s current marketing efforts and asked for recommendations on how to improve or expand these ideas.

“They’ve been phenomenal in giving us access to consultations and coaching, as well as other resources that include digital templates and influencer and affiliate platforms,” she said.

In addition to the expanded marketing platforms, the grant will help Hugo Coffee Roasters promote its new cold brew called New Trick.

“New Trick is a light roast that Hugo has been doing for a while, but we are giving it a cold-brew treatment in time for the summer,” Martinez said. “People who love our existing Dog Days cold brew are sure to love New Trick, which will go into production in the next couple of weeks.”

The ThoughtLab grant came to Hugo at the right time — right as the coronavirus shut Park City and Summit County down, Martinez said.

“It was incredibly generous of ThoughtLab to take into consideration local businesses such as ours that have the social component to them and also were in dire need because of COVID-19,” she said. “With things still up in the air, people needed to remember to support local businesses, food purveyors, even if it’s only online. We are so appreciative of ThoughtLab in the support of our local community.”

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