Pug café celebrates 'Pugmas' with festive fits for their four-legged friendsDecember 18, 2022
A pug café has celebrated Christmas the best way they can – by dressing their pugs in adorable fancy festive garb for ‘Pugmas’.
CuppaPug, in London, which was set up by Pug-enthusiasts Aaron Carty, Matt Pieterse, and Lady Phyll, is also covered in Christmas decorations for the occasion.
The café gives customers the chance to spend hours cuddling the little rescue pooches – a perfect activity for Christmas, or any time of year for that matter.
Aaron said: ‘Pugmas is so special to us here at CuppaPug!
‘For Matt and I, Pugmas is about bringing festive joy and pugs to people really needing a strong dose of Christmas fun.
‘We are Christmas-themed with a pink Christmas Santa, pink Christmas trees, lights and decorations and of course, the pugs in their little Santa outfits.
‘We also have Christmas-themed drinks and cupcakes including a gingerbread latte and warming Hot Chocolate with cream and marshmallows – also a favourite for the pugs, so watch out.’
CuppaPug, which is home to cuties Gaston, six, Bruce, five, Bowser, three, Beau, two, Gizmo, one, Bebe, one, and Baloo, six months, prioritises the pug’s welfare above all else.
Indeed, the business’s motto is ‘Pugs first, café second’.
Aaron said: ‘The pug’s welfare always comes first, so the benefit of visiting the café is that you really get to immerse yourself with not only our seven resident pugs, but the pug pals that visit too.
‘The reaction we get from people walking past and seeing the pugs in the ball pit through the window is one of absolute awe.
‘The café has an enormous glass window which inspired my idea to put a ball pit in front of it as it’s lots of fun for people to see the pugs playing as they walk past.
‘The pugs like to play “Find the Carrot” – all seven go crazy, jumping all over the customers to find the treat first.
‘People walk back from work with a miserable face but once they see the pugs playing, it makes them stop in their tracks and smile, usually taking a heap of photos too.
‘A lot of kids who visit tell us it’s the best day of their lives.
‘The pugs are so well-behaved with children and parents often bring children who’ve had bad experiences with dogs to try to overcome it.
‘Reactions from customers are overwhelmingly positive; we really are a joyous place.’
There’s an entry fee, 10% of which goes towards rescuing and rehoming pugs.
The café also has pugs brought in who need adopting, and have partnered with The National Pug Protection Trust, who provide customers with information and advice.
Aaron has always been a pug lover, having got his first pug in 2016.
He added: ‘My first pug was Gaston, who’s now six. He’s the loveable, grumpy grandad of the group.
‘Then there’s Bruce – the security dog, and Bowser, who’s the naughty pug of the group. Gizmo, the boss, is a spoilt baby.
‘Beau has epilepsy and a heart of gold, and then the newest pug, six-month-old Baloo, is wild and loves life.
‘All the pugs love being in the café and the attention they receive. With CuppaPug being so busy it’s great as they get constant company and the reassurance they crave.’
Next, CuppaPug plans to introduce PugLates and cocktails to the menu for customers.
Aaron said: ‘The response on social media has been amazing, and it’s really helped bring people in.
‘We update our socials daily with fun and light content showing all the pugs that have visited, and people often share their own content too.
‘All cafés should be dog-friendly, but ours is unique and works well because our pugs are a family.
‘Once inside you can buy a selection of drinks, cakes and hot food – as well as treats to feed the pugs.’
This year, Pugmas ran up until today, 18 December.
Customers often praise how therapeutic the experience is, especially when the pugs are chilling out on their beds or on the laps of customers.
Aaron said: ‘We just want to provide more of our constant pink pug madness to our customers and fans.
‘It’s such a nice atmosphere and spending all day with our pugs is an amazing privilege I want to share with people.’
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