By: Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Coffee will be served with a new attitude at the Ugly Mug in downtown Wausau.
The Ugly Mug, previously known as The Paisley Mug and Allister Deacon's before that, switched ownership earlier this year. It's now run by the brother-sister duo Tyler Vogt and Shannon Kozlowski, and their spouses, Stina Vogt and Drew Kozlowski.
The former owner, Becky Hummer, wanted to move on from the business, Shannon Kozlowski said. Kozlowski had a love of coffee, a desire to run a downtown coffee shop and perfect timing.
"I've wanted to run a coffee shop for quite some time, I'm a life-long coffee drinker," she said.
The family also jokes that purchasing the shop was a surefire way to help Tyler Vogt achieve his New Year's resolution to drink more coffee.
Since taking over formally in March, the Vogts and the Kozlowskis have been hard at work transforming the small cafe. So far, they've started redecorating, changed up the menu and added bakery options. They've eliminated lunch options, as Tyler Vogt said they're streamlining the Ugly Mug's offerings so they can more effectively serve more customers.
Focusing more on the coffee and beverage portion of the menu, will allow for new perks like a roasters menu, which will offer a selection of different coffees from local, national and international roasters, Vogt said.
In addition to a large selection of coffee, the group plans to offer kombucha on tap, smoothies made from completely fresh ingredients, house-made bread and snacks, stuffed donuts and offerings for those who keep a gluten-free diet.
The coffee shop will also offer customers the opportunity to be a part of their "mug club" by bringing their own ugly mug into the shop and leaving it on the display wall to use when they sit down for a cup of coffee or tea. The club will give customers access to special promotions and sales throughout the year, Tyler Vogt said. He also plans to roll out an app for the shop soon, too, which will allow customers to order ahead of time, collect points and earn rewards for use on coffee or food.
Other changes will come to the coffee shop this summer and fall, such as expanded hours, new offerings of food and drink and more. But more than just enjoying a quick cup of coffee or a bite to eat between meetings, the group hopes that the shop will become a central point for the community.
"We want it to be a social hub," Vogt said. "There's a lot going on in this little space."