By: Skylar Colclazier
Hughes Brughes, a home-based business in the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver, was recently featured in a Q&A session in the Denver Post. Hughes Brughes, owned and operated by Ben Hughes and Claire Findlay, produce coffee while upholding “…principles of environmental stewardship and a commitment to community” (HughesBrughes.com).
Who doesn’t love coffee?
I’m excited for these Stapleton residents and business owners. I look forward to watching Hughes Brughes grow. Thank you, Ben, for giving special attention to Stapleton business!
Q: How did you get involved in this business?
A: Our story sounds a lot like that of many of the local craft breweries in Denver. I began home roasting back in 2009 and discovered that I could make coffee at home that tasted so much better than anything I could buy at the grocery store or café. I spent six years honing my roasting skills and developing a taste for the best coffees from around the world, while roasting for myself, family and friends. Then, I had a crazy idea to start a small business, and my fiancée, Claire, was crazy enough to jump in as well. Our best friends encouraged us along the way, and we are very proud of our business and the quality of coffee we produce.
Q: What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category?
A: Our mission statement describes our three core values: craft coffee, environmental stewardship and commitment to community. Craft coffee means that we carefully roast in small batches (10 pounds or less) using our senses (no automation) to create delicious coffee. Environmental stewardship reflects our commitment to roast only certified organic and free trade/direct trade beans, and also our pledge to donate 5 percent of our profits to the Bluff Lake Nature Center. Commitment to community describes our passion for connecting with our neighbors, local nonprofits such as Bluff Lake and other local small businesses.
Q: What do you like best about your line of work?
A: Of course, we love roasting coffee, but what we have found most surprising — and most rewarding — is the enthusiastic response from our community and the close relationships with community partners that have developed over time. For instance, we first approached Bluff Lake Nature Center about donating a portion of our profits to their organization, and they came back with a plethora of ideas to foster a special and lasting partnership that exceeds anything I could have imagined.
Q: What is your business’ biggest challenge?
A: By far the biggest challenge that Claire and I face is the balance of our demanding full-time jobs and running Hughes Brughes. It’s definitely tough sledding at times, but the opportunities this business brings us — to deliver the world’s best (and most ethically produced) coffee, to help our neighbors wake up with a smile each morning and to foster amazing community partnerships — make it all worth it.