CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Susana Almaguer opened The Coffee Mugg in 2018. She didn’t want to create a basic coffee shop, and wanted to share her love for the world of Harry Potter. The shop is designed to be a slice of Hogwarts in the Coastal Bend, as Almaguer envisioned it as a place where students of all houses would gather.
“I was like, it would be dope if we could just have all the houses under one roof, and a coffee shop where people could come out, and it’s actually become this little safe haven for people that feel that they can come in here and we can just nerd out to Harry Potter, but also Game of Thrones, and Star Wars, and I’ve had people show up in cosplay, just to chill and have coffee,” she said.
The name is a play on 'muggle,' a term used in the books and movies to refer to people with no magical abilities, and The Coffee Mugg has become a place for Harry Potter fans to gather, and Almaguer has loved interacting with fans.
“I have made tons of Harry Potter friends from all over, and it’s been interesting meeting all kinds of people from everywhere, just coming into the shop, and showing their love for something I created,” she said.
Almaguer loved Harry Potter growing up because it was an escape from reality for her.
“I was an outcast, and I never fit in anywhere growing up to create a place where people feel like they could fit in, was like, ‘okay, this is it.’ That’s what I wanted to create,” she said.
Almaguer has shared that love with her customers, and they share it back. The inside of the shop is filled with Harry Potter memorabilia, referencing characters from the books and movies, the four houses, and even the Marauder’s Map, and some of the decorations have come from customers.
“Most of what you see in here is community-based, people just show up here and bring things. The fact that the community saw this, and said they’d do what it takes to make sure this place is still standing, that gave me hope,” she said.
That hope was needed in 2020. Like many businesses, The Coffee Mugg temporarily closed because of the pandemic, and when Almaguer was readying to reopen, she learned the espresso machine was broken.
“I went on Facebook and I was like, ‘hey guys, I know I said I’d open up again, but it does not look like it’s going to happen any time soon,’” she said.
But once again, the community helped out. Someone saw Almaguer’s post, and knew someone who used to own a restaurant, who had a used espresso machine.
They messaged me and said, ‘we have this espresso machine at our house, if you want to come look at it, you can take it.’ I go to check it out, and it’s in good condition. The first thing I said was, ‘I don’t have much money, but I could do a payment plan or something?’ Almaguer said.
But, the man offered to donate the espresso machine for a trade.
“The man said, ‘you know, I like a good cappuccino, how about I trade you for a cappuccino whenever I’m in town?’ I said, ‘you’re set, you’ll have cappuccinos the rest of your life,’” Almaguer said.
Business has picked up since The Coffee Mugg reopened, and Almaguer is thankful for her customers.
“Things are picking up so much, and we’re working so much, that I have to remind myself, a year ago, it was nothing like this, so I count my blessings,” she said. “If it weren’t for our customers, my dream wouldn’t be here, this wouldn’t be here, and I’m forever grateful for that. I don’t think I’ll never not feel that way.”
The Coffee Mugg is located at 1112 Morgan Ave. in Corpus Christi, and is open Tuesday through Sunday.