Mug Club

Partnering with the Dining Services at The University of Montana, ceramic students create mugs to be sold to students, faculty, and anyone who frequents the University Dining Service coffee shops. When a customer chooses to buy a handmade mug, they will receive special discounts such as a 20% off refills in their mug, and, depending on the day of the week, 50 cents off a muffin / bagel, a free added shot, or half priced refills. Besides saving money, mug goers will be supporting the use of homemade objects while promoting a positive environmental impact by reducing the use of throw-away paper cups. Participating shops include the UC Food Court, BizBuzz, La Peak, Recess, Think Tank, and the Cascade Country Store.
Class Presentation PDF


Q: How did you come up with an idea for this project?
A: This idea really came about because I’ve been doing some marketing work with Dining Services and they wanted a program to basically promote their name. Not a lot of people know what Dining services actually do on campus. So we did some research and we found this mug club that another university had started and I thought it would just be a fantastic way to bring the UM Ceramics Department and Dining Service together, as well as get clay out to the community. We made about twenty mugs and handed them out in the UC Gallery. When we first got there we set up a cart and people wouldn’t look at us. They wouldn’t make eye contact with us. So we stood for about five minutes and then we decided we needed to retry this. So anyone who was sitting nearby, we attacked them and asked them if they wanted a free mug. When we started to give them out people got really excited. People started to come to find us. Everyone was really excited about the mugs. By the time we made it around most of the 2nd floor, we had a group of people come up to us. And they were like, “we heard about this mug club thing. Can we get a free mug from you?” So word had already spread around. In each of the cups we had a little flyer and told where they could use these at certain areas on campus. And on the bottom was a little survey they could take. We actually had a person respond five minutes after we handed out the mugs. We were somewhat successful and they answered some questions which we liked. I think this project went pretty successfully and through this we developed a pretty good relationship with Dining Services and the Ceramics Department.

Q: So you handed them out for free?
A: Yeah we did.

Q: But the flyer says buy a mug?
A: So next semester we are actually going to implement this program and we’re going to sell them for $10 to students. We are going to have to figure out how the selling is going to work. Maybe put a table up in the UC.

Q: Is there a way to identify all these mugs in the same way?
A: We forgot to make stamps. Originally we wanted to make a club stamps. There is writing on the bottom of each cup, Mug Club. So the baristas can just turn it over and see.