ABOUT US

Welcome to Mutts and Mugs!

Mutts and Mugs will be the first pub in California to feature an off-leash dog park. It will be one of the largest dog-centric restaurants in the United States covering over a 28,000 square foot outdoor facility. A hang out for dogs and their best friends. This one of a kind hang out will debut in Sacramento, California in 2019. It will feature an open space for you and your pups, local wines, amazing beer, comforting coffee, and a pub serving delicious bites for humans and canines alike.

OFF THE LEASH DOG PARK

During peak hours Dog Rangers will actively monitor the park  –  Peace of mind knowing your dog is socializing with dogs that are vaccinated and spayed/neutered –  Use of the doggy bathing area and resources  –  Added discounts during the daily Yappy Hour.

SPECIAL MEMBER EVENTS

Such as Hair of the Dog New Years Day Pawty, Puppy Love V-Day Pawty, St. Petricks Day, Cinco de Mutto, Pawtoberfest, Howl-o-Ween Costume Contest, Pictures with Santa Paws, and so much more!

THE FOUNDERS

We love visiting dog parks with our dogs. Most parks are beautiful, the people are great, and the variety of dogs and social interaction has been a good experience. But after years of visiting, we kept encountering the same problem over and over again. We realized that the entire experience lacked activities that we value in our everyday lives.

We imagined sipping a cold glass of beer or white wine on a warm summer day while watching our dogs run.

We dreamed of having a hot coffee or comforting glass of red wine while we cozied up on a bench meeting other dog lovers or catching up on the latest news on our phones. We had the constant guilty feeling of leaving our dogs at home for hours during the work week while we went out to eat. We’ve experienced cutting short late evening dog park outings due to lack of safe lighting and basic bathroom needs. So we decided to do something about it.

THE STORY

Blog #8 – For the Love of Dog – October 22, 2019

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, so my husband and I decided to venture to the local street market/fair and stroll around. During our stroll we noticed a guy sitting on a stool with a folding table and typewriter offering to write you a poem on any topic for any price. Our curiosity got the better of us. We looked at what cash we had, only $10, and asked the poet to write us a poem on “dogs” or “dog parks.”  He told us to come back in 10 minutes, so we went off to look at things and give him time to write.  When the 10 minutes were up, we were eager to see what the poet had written.  I must have read this poem a dozen times, yet each time I read it, it seems like I notice something different. I won’t go into the entire poem, but I will share with you the parts that keep me thinking.  For example, “dog as god.” The first time I read this, I thought to myself “what in the world?”  But then I noticed something.  God spelled backwards is dog.  This got me thinking about the divine qualities that many dogs exhibit – their silent and constant companionship.  Their instinct to protect.  Their ability to forgive.  Their innate nobility. Their unconditional love – in fact, the poet wrote “unconditional love in a culture that hardly knows this.” The poem ends with “in a current mess of a world / showing us / the potency of / potential to / accomplish the animal / & rise beyond our / tiny differences / in the common / ground of / dog park.”  Ahhhh yes. There it is. One of the reasons why I love dog parks so much – the common ground it gives people to connect.  If you have ever taken your pup to a dog park, you are instantly park of a little community where all people there have one thing in common: love for dogs.  If you want to, it is extremely easy to make friends there because you have an almost instant connection with the people around you.  In a society where we often isolate ourselves by engaging with our phones rather than engaging with people, at a dog park you put your phone down to watch your dog play and run around.  In a way, it liberates you for the self-imposed isolation many of us create for ourselves.  I am incredibly excited to launch Mutts and Mugs, and to build a unique space for all my fellow dog lovers out there. If dogs are part of your family, then it’s going to feel like coming home. “Transitions from one world to another requires bold moves.” – Dr. Robert Ford.

Blog #7 – Pioneers on the New Frontier – October 21, 2019

When my husband and I first embarked on our journey to open Mutts and Mugs, we did not know anything about the pet industry.  We were just two millennials who adored our pups and wanted to integrate them into our lifestyle as much as possible. As we learned more about the pet industry, the numbers set off the alarm bell of opportunity!  Did you know that the pet industry is a $75 billion industry that has seen consistent growth over the past two decades, even through the 2008 recession?  Dog spending accounts for $50 billion.  Pet spending is larger than the cumulative Gross Domestic Product of 47 countries.  There are more dogs in America than the cumulative population of 80+ countries. Emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico are seeing 50-60% pet spending growth. It is now estimated that 40% of U.S. households own a dog. Even crazier is that there are more households with just dogs at 45 million than households with kids at 38 million.  Tesla even has a “dog mode” for their cars, where the cabin can be kept at a comfortable temperature for a dog when left unattended.  Welcome to the new frontier!  As a dog owner myself, I can say that this is an underserved market. In fact, this is how my husband and I even came up with the idea for Mutts and Mugs. People love their pets, and pets love their people.  This is why we embarked on our journey to build a community space for dogs and their best friends – we are not going to simply be another “dog friendly” restaurant – no. We are building a dog-centric restaurant.  We are not simply building a boring old dog park – no. We are building a state of the art playground for dogs and their best friends.  We hope you embark with us on the new frontier!

Our Mutts and Mugs story is still being written. We need to finish raising capital for our public offering to get going. We hope you join us for the ride by investing in Mutts and Mugs (minimum investment of $500 with some cool perks). Check out our investor page.

Blog #6 – Persistence – October 19, 2019

Who doesn’t love a good entrepreneurial start-up story? You read about them, watch movies about them, and perhaps fantasize about them with your own ideas. Our society romanticizes entrepreneur stories all the time, and rightly so – because it takes grind, grit, and guts to overcome a mountain of adversity you face. But make no mistake. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes it feels as if there are more low moments than there are high. As the co-founder of Mutts and Mugs, I don’t mind sharing a few.

Let’s start with launching in California. You may think “California, what a great place for an entrepreneur.” After all, legendary start-ups have their origin stories here – Apple, Airbnb, Pinterest, Google, etc. However, these days it seems like most investors in California focus on investing in tech start-ups, not ones that focus on building unique community spaces that create a one of a kind experience for dogs and their best friends. Don’t get me wrong, we are designing Mutts and Mugs’ park with smart tech, but our business is not a “tech” company. Which brings me to my next topic. Rejection. Entrepreneurs get rejected, repeatedly. Rejection comes in all shapes and sizes, from investors, banks, and city planners to people just down right rejecting you or your idea. Rejection can be soul crushing, especially when it happens hundreds of times. However, I’ve come to realize that rejection is to be embraced. It’s a sign you’re putting yourself out there – and you’ll never get anywhere if you’re not doing that. Some rejection must be ignored, but sometimes it comes with valuable feedback that you can apply to improve if you’re willing to pick up your humbled ego and keep going.

When you are pouring your life’s savings (and some) into a start-up, it’s common for an entrepreneur to ask themselves “what the heck did I get myself into?” I was no exception. There were times when I doubted our decision, and let negative thoughts creep into my mind, such as “we could have paid off all of our student loans, bought a small castle and moved to France, and started a whole new life!” It is easy to beat yourself up with thoughts of doubt and second guessing your decisions. But don’t surrender. Persist. Let the conviction you have about your idea persist and carry you to the next day, and then the next. Persistence is a key ingredient to any successful entrepreneurial story.

Its not enough to dream big. You must do big as well. But don’t let the word “big” fool you, because doing big means doing the little things that are tedious and boring, or difficult in the moment – like stuffing envelopes, waking up at 3:00 am to set-up a table for an event, or even forgiving yourself when you make a mistake. All those little things add up and allow you to do big.

Our Mutts and Mugs story is still being written. We need to finish raising capital for our public offering to get going. We hope you join us for the ride by investing in Mutts and Mugs (minimum investment of $500 with some cool perks). Check out our investor page.

Blog #5 – If You Build It, They Will Come – Our First Members – October 10, 2019

You may have a great idea your enthusiastic about, but will others like it? Is there a demand for it? These are the kind of questions my spouse and I had early on as we launched Mutts and Mugs. After several months of grinding, we found a perfect piece of land for our future. At first glance, the piece of property we decided to launch Mutts and Mugs on is not that remarkable. Its flat, with nothing but weeds and unruly grass. But as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and this spot was a beauty to us. It is a blank slate, with plenty of room for the dog-utopia we planned to build. Although it is a few miles from downtown, we knew if we built it, they would come. Once we identified the land, our team of architects helped us create a visual for the space and little by little, our idea started to catch attention in local news and media outlets. Forget dog friendly. Mutts and Mugs is going dog-centric. Once we started to sell off-leash memberships, paws started to come. I’ll never forget the excitement we had when we sold our first memberships – Cannoli and Nibbler, the first pups in California to join our pack. Their memberships deepened our convictions. There were other dog members who understood the vision, and this was super fuel to keep us going. Then came Valko, and shy Toki, followed by Luna, and Milo the tennis chasing king, Woody, Jaxon, Zeus, Ben, Sunny, Bella, Henry, Arlo and the list goes on. Our members came from miles away. We had something. We had a movement. Our members are furry, short, lumpy, tall, big, small, brown, black, white, smelly, slobber monsters, tongues out, tail wagging, but most of all our members are the beginning of a movement to create a unique experience for dogs and their best friends. Although we had great traction early on, the next step in our journey has not been a cake walk. Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll share how persistence is a critical component for any entrepreneur. In the meantime, please check our investor site. We have only days days left before our investment period closes October 22nd – and we hope you join the Mutts and Mugs movement!

Blog #4 – The Grind- October 8, 2019

After my spouse and I overcame the fear of failure and decided to pursue our dream of opening Mutts and Mugs we weren’t going to let little things, like not knowing about the food and beverage or pet industries, stop us! We simply had to roll up our sleeves and get ready to grind. We sold our home to fund the business, my spouse quit his job and transitioned into a consulting role so he could have more flexibility with his time, and we eventually relocated to be closer to the launch site. The grind requires small sacrifices. In our case, we shared one old car, lived with parents for a period of time and even lived apart while we relocated, we stopped spending money on hobbies (in my case that was travel and in his case it was Ironman triathlon competitions) so that every penny could be used towards funding the business. We researched all aspects of our concept and spoke to countless people to analyze real estate costs, various permitting processes, how to get a beer and wine license, what makes a good beer or wine, elements of good coffee, dog behavior, how to design a dog park, marketing strategies, architects, landscaping, restaurant operations, food costs, logo design, insurance, fundraising, small business loans, membership models, state approvals, etcetera, etcetera. You name it, we researched and analyzed it until we had turned this puppy into a polished business plan. If there is one thing grinding has taught me, it’s that you must put your ego aside and be willing to listen and learn with every opportunity you get. If you do, then the grind lets you reap big rewards. The grind helps you break down seemingly intimidating or complicated concepts you know nothing about and you gain an inner confidence and fire that says “we can do this.” If you’re willing to grind, it will surround you with people who have the knowledge, experience, or expertise you don’t – and if you have a learning mindset, you will soak it all up. Look for opportunity to learn, even from people who have tried and failed. Once you embrace the grind, hang on for the ride – it’s going to be a good one!

In my next post, I’ll share about our “first members.” In the meantime, please check our investor site. We have only days days left before our investment period closes October 22nd – and we hope you join the Mutts and Mugs movement!

Blog #3 – The Decision – October 3, 2019

After you’ve got an idea, that turns into a passion, and then it morphs into an obsession – you come to a crossroad where you need to decide: are you going to do something about it or not? This is what happened when my spouse and I had the idea for Mutts and Mugs, a place where dogs could be off-leash and their humans could grab a drink. We finally came to the realization that we were not afraid to fail. We would rather try and fail, than never try at all and always be stuck wondering “what if?” Once we overcame the fear of failure, the decision was easy. I turned to my spouse and said “put a project plan together. Let’s do this!” There was no going back. It was time to carve our own path. Overcoming the fear of failure was easy once we redefined it – we knew we were going to make mistakes, but we also knew we would learn a whole lot, and this was exciting! We made the decision to go for it and we couldn’t wait any longer. We sold our house, we reworked our finances so my spouse could pursue this, and we started to make sacrifices to take steps towards making this a reality. In my next post, I’ll share about the “Grind” in getting lift off on our idea. In the meantime, please check out our investor site. There are only have days left before our investment period closes October 22nd – and we hope you join the Mutts and Mugs movement!

Blog #2 – The Obsession – September 22, 2019

Last week I shared about the idea that just wouldn’t go away – Mutts and Mugs, our idea for an off-leash dog park where you could grab a coffee, beer, or wine. Once we got this idea, we could NOT get it out of our mind. It was all we could talk about. We woke up in the morning thinking about it and fell asleep dreaming about it. We researched every aspect of this concept – anything we could get out hands on – research papers, articles, and books about dogs or dog parks. We watched any relevant or related documentaries, and studied restaurants, bars, and coffee houses and what made them fail or succeed. Alex spent hours upon hours at dog parks, observing and studying human and dog behavior – asking people questions about their opinions and experiences at them. We researched California regulatory requirements and planning and building codes, ambiguous environmental health codes, and began to look at hundreds of commercial properties. Literally every waking free moment or thought was about this idea. We wondered why no one had done this in California, the 5th largest economy in the world. Finally, we identified three barriers to entry. First, California is highly regulated compared to other states. Second, land is essential to this concept and California land is expensive. Finally, you need guts and there was no one in California who had them. Passion had met inspiration, and an obsession for this idea was born. Stay tuned for my next post “the Decision” – where I’ll share about how and why we made the decision to go for it! Also check out our investor site at www.MuttsandMugsParkPub.com/investors. Our investment period closes very soon – we hope you join the Mutts and Mugs movement!

Blog #1 – The Idea That Won’t Go Away – September 17, 2019

Have you ever had an idea that just wouldn’t go away? Once it enters your mind, you begin to see things around you that relate to your idea, connect to your idea, and put a burning desire into your mind and heart to pursue it. This happened to me and its why I co-founded Mutts and Mugs. Mutts and Mugs is soon to be California’s first and only dog-centric restaurant to feature an off-leash dog park that will accommodate dogs and their best friends. It’s a simple story really that I am sure many dog owners can relate to. My spouse Alex and I have two dogs, Indie (his full name is Indiana Scotch Swirl Enrique Jones Valenzuela-Farias) and Clara (her full name is Clara Buttercup Barton Valenzuela-Farias). No, I am not joking – they have full personalities and giving them full names was just the responsible thing to do. Anyways, these pups are more than just pets. They are our best friends, our little precious fur babies. They complete our family – we are a little pack. I would take them everywhere if I could, and if up to them, they’d roll with us everywhere we went too! Unfortunately, this is not possible. In fact, suffice it to say that Indie has a bad case of leash aggression (i.e., being aggressive when he is on a leash and being totally fine when he is off the leash). It is very difficult to take him to “dog-friendly” restaurants and places because he must be on the leash. Now let that percolate for a second and let me change gears. We have worked long hours in the office . . . sometimes we could put in 15+ hour days at our respective jobs. After work or on the weekends we would feel bad when we wanted to go out to eat or have drinks, only to leave our dogs at home. This really bothered us, so we would frequently go to various dog parks to all be together. Without fail I’d always want to stop and grab a coffee before hitting up the park. Many times when we were at the park, it was a beautiful California day and Alex would say “I wish I could have a beer right now!” We thought “wouldn’t it be great if there was an off-leash dog park where we could get a coffee or a beer?” We’d revisit this question almost every single time we went to a dog park. Little by little, small signs would pop up here and there calling us to revisit this question: I came across a picture with a coffee on top of a dog’s head (weird, I know!) and I was like “hey look! Two of people’s favorite things: dogs and coffee.” I’d read something about cat cafes, and think “why can’t there be dog cafes?” I started to see dogs everywhere I went! One day Alex and I were walking Indie and Clara and it just clicked! “WE NEEDED TO OPEN A DOG PARK WITH A BAR! We raced home and began to Google bars with dog parks. Low and behold, this concept had been done only a dozen times in the world and was thriving. That was it, the moment! The idea that wouldn’t go away manifested itself into a vision…and we started to ask why not, and why not us? All great things start with a crazy idea – perhaps an idea that just won’t go away. When that happens, nurture it and be brave enough to see where it takes you!

Be part of the Mutts and Mugs Movement! Check out and invest at our site. Just a few short weeks are remaining until our investment period closes on October 22. Stay tuned for my next post titled “the Obsession,” where I continue the Mutts and Mugs story.

The Kickoff- September 16, 2019

It has been two long years in the making of Mutts and Mugs, California’s first off-leash dog park where you can order coffee, beer, wine, and food. Many of you know about our journey, but many of you do not. In the next few weeks leading up to October 22nd I will be sharing a series of short posts detailing my husband (Alex) and my journey in creating Mutts and Mugs, in the hopes that you join our movement. We are currently 70% funded for our first location and in the process of raising the remaining amount. We have a public offering open to California residents with a minimum investment amount of $500 and an overall additional fundraising goal of $250,000. This means that you have the opportunity to become part owner in Mutts and Mugs first location, launching out of Sacramento. In the upcoming weeks, you can decide to support these dreamers. If you are rooting for the underdog, if you believe in entrepreneurship, if you love dogs, if you love coffee, if you love wine, if your love beer, for the love of DOG invest in Mutts and Mugs! Our small corporate offering registration closes on October 22, 2019. If you invest = you will be buying shares in Mutts and Mugs = you will be part of the Mutts and Mugs Movement = when we strike big = you strike big! If you do not have enough dough to invest at this time, and still want to support us, please share our blog in the upcoming weeks and stay tuned to my upcoming posts – just help us spread the word! We are launching in Sacramento, but this is just the first one – as there are many cities (and states) we know this concept will totally crush it! Sending much love to you all! Happy tails and cheers! Check out and/or invest at MuttsandMugsParkPub.com/investors. Stay tuned for my next post titled “the Vision” where I’ll share how we came up with the idea. 🐾🐶🐕🐩🍻🍷☕️🐾