Mugs to Helps Pugs

(And Other Dogs, Too)

by Felicity Bosk

Benji Wedel was looking for a way to enter the entrepreneurship world when he realized how much people loved these two things: pugs and coffee mugs. He has since begun his own online business, Pug Mug Co., to raise money for animals. 
“Anyone can do a mug company but I wanted to work with shelters and rescues and kind of be the “Love Your Melon” for dogs and coffee,” he said. 
Wedel is a junior at UMD studying design and marketing. He said he’s always had a love for graphic design but that passion really took off when he got to college. He had a pug when he was growing up and said him and his mom are still obsessed with them. 
Since Pug Mug Co. is so new, having begun in December, they haven’t made any profit to donate to shelters or rescues quite yet. Wedel said he’s been talking to Animal Allies and other organizations in the Twin Cities about supporting them. Sometimes, he said, the best thing is to donate money. Other times it can be to donate food, beds, or toys. 

Pug Mug Co is not just to support pugs specifically, he said, but to help all animals by supporting animal shelters and rescues around Duluth and throughout Minnesota. 
The pug mug itself is a white speckled ceramic 13 oz. mug for sale at pugmugco.com. In the near future, Wedel said he plans to add a travel mug with a new design. 
Looking to the future he wants Pug Mug Co to be a staple in the community. Wedel looks up to other businesses like Duluth Coffee Company as community business leaders and hopes to work with them some day. He is excited by the prospect of seeing his businesses grow and be able to donate more to shelters and rescues as it does. 

“I knew from a very young age that I am blessed in the situation I am in with the income my family has and there’s people that don’t have that and the world doesn’t revolve around us or me and if I can help, why wouldn’t I?” Wedel said.