Anushka has created the coolest business concept I have ever heard of – a Cafe for Pugs, or Pug Cafe!
We chatted about how the idea came about, whether the customers are always well behaved, and what her plans are for the business. Oh, and of course what Pugs eat at the Cafe!
Thanks for your time today Anushka! Tell us all about Pug Cafe.
Pug Cafe is a pop up event where we transform a regular cafe or coffee house into a a cafe dedicated to pugs FOR pugs! We offer a totally unique cafe experience for the Pug where they can enjoy full of delicious treats, and make friends in the most sociable and fun setting. Of course, they bring their humans along too.
Where did the idea come from?
I organise my local pug meet up in Guildford, Surrey and I thought it would be nice to host a coffee morning. Overnight a video advertising the event went viral and the Pug Cafe was born! I had previously seen a Pug Cafe in Tokyo but that is a petting cafe – I wanted to turn the concept on its head and create a cafe experience that was for the Pug.
You have been featured in lots of mainstream press (BBC, Metro, Telegraph etc). How has this helped to spread the word? What other ways do people tend to find out about where you are travelling to next?
The press, both national and local, have really helped get the event seen by thousands and in some case millions of people around the UK. It’s definitely helps spread to a wider audience, and get our Pug Cafe brand out there. We have built a solid social fanbase of 26,000 people and announce our upcoming events on our social channels including Facebook and Instagram.
What areas have you visited with Pug Cafe? What do you do to transform the existing cafe into a welcoming Pug-friendly space?
Our first Pug Cafe was in our hometown of Guildford, Surrey and since then we have opened up pop up Pug Cafes in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton and Liverpool. We are soon visiting Nottingham and Manchester again for a special Year of the Dog Cafe.
We make sure the venue is safe for all the pugs to be off lead – this is an off-lead event as we like the pugs to be free to roam and make new friends – and we often decorate with special pug art, pug cushions and pug decorations. We even have pug-sized sofas for the pugs to rest their paws!
When it’s a themed Pug Cafe for example Christmas or Halloween we’ll bring in special props to add to the fun. Our Christmas Pug Cafe saw a pug-sized Sleigh so the pugs could be Santa Paws for the day!
Do the Pugs generally get along well, or have you had any rowdy customers?
Pugs are sociable breed, they just love to be around other pugs and humans. Our events are always such happy and joyful occasions, and that really is all to do with the pug – they make it so much fun because they’re happiest playing, sniffing and making new friends.
We have the rare scuffle or the odd bark but usually all our curly-tailed friends are happy customers!
What treats are on offer for the Pugs and their owners at the Pug Cafe?
We have a menu dedicated to pugs which includes Pupcakes, Dognuts (that’s a doughnut for a dog!), Bark-scotti, Paw-ty Rings, Pawbon biscuits, Jammy Doggers, Gingerpug cookies and more.
Plus our famous PUGUCCINOS are always on the house!
You must absolutely love arranging this, is this your full time job or do you have a day job?
I do LOVE organising these events, I have my own pug and I’m most happiest when meeting other pugs and pug lovers. I do this out of love for dogs and really am living the dream at the moment. I work as a freelance writer and Digital PR consultant, but luckily I work from home now and I’m able to balance Pug Cafe with my freelance work.
What does the future look like? Do you have plans to expand the areas or even look at other specialist cafe?
I will continue to take Pug Cafe around the UK, but we hope to diversify into other breeds and different events soon. At the moment my partner James and I are just enjoying this wonderful puggy journey we’ve found ourselves on.
How can readers find out more about Pug Cafe?
For lots of videos of our events you can also subscribe to our YouTube channel here.