New Year’s Day was a day of extra celebration for Robyn Shade of Pleasant View and Celia White of Ashland City, as it marked the first anniversary of operation for their Mugs Coffee Hut in Ashland City.
White, from Davis, Calif., is the Hut’s owner. Shade, from Wyoming, is the manager of the popular spot for many morning commuters and a number of picky-perky Cheatham County coffee connoisseurs.
“There are a lot of these coffee huts out west where we are from,” said White, who is a stay-at-home mom.
Shade works at NATS in Nashville as a nursing assistant.
Both said that they are pleased with the positive response in the business’s first year for the Hut, especially for the morning commute. They close the hut at noon each day.
“We’ve done very little advertising because the location speaks for itself,” White said. “Research shows that Highway 12 sees 26,000 people per day. That’s the total both ways.”
There are clearly some items in demand as well.
Both Shade and White said that mochas are the most popular. Kailee Barr, who is one of four employees at the coffee store, agreed with that.
Tiffany Dougan, who has been with the Hut since June, noted that white chocolate mocha, peppermint mocha, and Americano (made with espresso and water) were among the favorites ordered by customers.
“There are a lot of really nice people that come through, and we’ve made friends through here, including family members,” said Dougan, adding that country singer-songwriter Luke Combs has been a regular patron for some time.
“We have a lot of regulars that come,” Barr said. “We’ll see their car and start making their coffee so it’s ready when they pull up to the window.”
There are also special flavors that are created for the holidays, with items in the works for Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day.
“Our bosses are fantastic people,” Dougan said. “They let us come up with specials and use our talents.”
Barr said that she and her coworkers clearly like to make people happy.
“We like to sit and talk with customers a lot,” she said. “It’s also great meeting new people. We love our customers. They are like family. Just like the people we work with are like family as well.”
Ashland City Deputy Fire Chief Derek Noe is one of the regular customers, stopping by for a large vanilla caramel latte recently.
“I love this place,” Noe said.
Both Dougan and Barr said that food items, such as breakfast sandwiches or wraps, will likely be added to the menu. White said that there have always been plans in place plans to expand to more than coffee.
“We’re also big on recycling” Barr said. “So, you can bring your own cup or mug.”
Special milks like almond, coconut, soy and breve latte (steamed half and half) are also available.
There is a 10 percent discount for members of the military, police and first responders. The Hut is also animal friendly and offers “pup cups” on request.
Shade said that the biggest surprise from the business has been the relationships built with the community.
“The positive response has been amazing,” she said. “We see people who know us at Walmart, Sidelines. We’ve gained a lot of friendships.”
However, amidst the upbeat atmosphere, one customer did voice a complaint during an interview for this story.
“My only complaint is that you’re not open longer,” Steven Wolfe said. “It’s the best coffee spot in Nashville.”