The Daily Evergreen

Naughty Dog reimagined as Pups and Cups

New owner CJ Robert describes changes, plans for pet-friendly shop

New+co-owner+CJ+Robert%2C+left%2C+trains+new+barista+Hailey+Christy.+Robert+wants+to+display+art+from+local+community+members%2C+who+she+said+supported+her+and+her+husband%2C+Quincy%2C+during+the+transition+from+Naughty+Dog+to+Pups+and+Cups.+
New co-owner CJ Robert, left, trains new barista Hailey Christy. Robert wants to display art from local community members, who she said supported her and her husband, Quincy, during the transition from Naughty Dog to Pups and Cups.

New co-owner CJ Robert, left, trains new barista Hailey Christy. Robert wants to display art from local community members, who she said supported her and her husband, Quincy, during the transition from Naughty Dog to Pups and Cups.

BONNIE JAMES | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

BONNIE JAMES | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

New co-owner CJ Robert, left, trains new barista Hailey Christy. Robert wants to display art from local community members, who she said supported her and her husband, Quincy, during the transition from Naughty Dog to Pups and Cups.

AUDREY HUDDLESTON, Evergreen reporter

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The Naughty Dog Coffee Shop, which closed multiple times within the past couple weeks for logistical reasons, has reopened under new ownership as Pups and Cups Dog Cafe.

CJ Robert, who now owns the café with her husband Quincy, said the name change was the result of questions and concerns from community members who didn’t understand the word “naughty” described a misbehaved dog, and thought the name implied the shop used bikini baristas.

CJ, who also co-owns the Cougar Entertainment Center with her husband, said the complaints began before the shop’s original opening in November. One day, while painting the interior, she said, “A lady comes in, like barges in and she [says] ‘I need to speak to the manager.’ ”

After introducing herself as the manager, CJ Robert said the woman told her a bikini barista shop was “completely inappropriate for the area.”

CJ Robert plans to maintain the shop as it was before, though she changed the name to add clarity. She will also include more gluten-free options on the menu and decorate with more local art.

She said encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle is important to her, which is why she wants to make sure the menu offers alternative options.

She wants to keep the original themes of “naughty” and humor. She said one way she plans to do this is with humorous wall decor, like paintings of dogs and ironic phrases. The goal is to add personality without disrupting the conversation in the shop.

Pups and Cups embraces constant collaboration with other local businesses, she said. For instance, the shop’s tea is supplied by Craig Brown, owner of SAM’s Apothecary.

BONNIE JAMES | THE DAILY EVERGREEN
Grace Montgomery and her dog, Eleanor, a five month old poodle, spend their free time in Pups and Cups.

“The tea variety here seems to be a huge hit,” Brown said.

“People come in,” Robert added, “and they’re like, ‘This is the first time I’ve ever been able to even drink tea without having any sweetener.’”

Robert said she believes this is because of the shop’s brewing methods.

Brown said he values the connections he makes with local businesses, which is why he offered his tea to Pups and Cups.

Steven Mislosky, who was involved in developing the original concept of the store in May, recently came back on as Pups and Cups’ general manager.

In addition to the tea selection, CJ said the shop is the only place in Pullman where customers can get coffee from Spokane brewer Tom Sawyer.

Tom Sawyer black coffee will come from a different country each month. The coffee for March is from Columbia.

“He won’t let any other person in Pullman now ever have his coffee,” CJ Robert said.

Sawyer’s handprint is painted on the wall behind the register, along with the handprints of everyone else who helped develop the coffee shop over the past few months. CJ Robert said she wanted to include local art that would represent some of the assistance she received from community members.

She said she hopes to start a mug club. If she does, customers who purchase a mug from Pups and Cups, and then bring the mug back when they buy a drink, will receive a discount.

The concept of the original Naughty Dog was to be completely pet-friendly, and CJ Robert said under their ownership it will remain so.

She said she is heavily involved with Pullman 2040, an initiative by the Pullman Chamber of Commerce and City Council to plan Pullman’s future in the year 2040.

CJ Robert said an important aspect of the initiative is making downtown more vibrant. This was a key factor in her decision to open the shop downtown.

“You sit here now and you just see empty business after empty business as you’re walking by,” she said. “We want to drum up the number of people walking.”

She said she hopes more restaurants and businesses choose to come to the vacant areas.

CJ Robert acknowledged running a business is hard work, but described herself as a “workaholic” who is up for the challenge.

“I like working 12 hours a day, six days a week,” she said.

Pups and Cups Dog Cafe is open from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

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Naughty Dog reimagined as Pups and Cups