How A Coffee Shop Doodle Became a Public Radio Icon | Community Idea Stations


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How A Coffee Shop Doodle Became a Public Radio Icon

One early Monday morning in October, Robert Brossart and his wife Jane casually strolled into Alchemy Coffee Lab. Having recently moved to Richmond from Louisville, Kentucky, Robert wanted to explore his new hometown through the city’s coffee shops.  While Robert opts for tea, he loves coffee culture and the calm, quite atmosphere inside each neighborhood café.

WCVE was also at Alchemy Coffee Lab that day kicking off our weeklong “Mug Stop” tour – a casual gathering for listeners to meet the various voices they hear on the radio over a cup of coffee.  After chatting with Virginia Currents producer Catherine Komp, Robert and his wife decided to become members, “we listened to public radio in Kentucky,” Robert said “we wanted to show our support here too.”

After grabbing tea in his new public radio mug, Robert pulled out his pocket sketch pad and began to draw. Robert’s entire family is artistic, and he enjoys sketching, but sometimes life gets in the way. This year, Robert decided to participate in Inktober, a worldwide creative movement challenging artists to draw every day of the month, to reconnect to his creative side. Out of his daily sketches emerged Hugo the Cat, a quirky little character with a mixture of hobbies and personality traits based on his wife, friends, and a stray cat he knew in Louisville.  That day, he decided to draw Hugo sipping a cup of coffee and listening to 88.9 WCVE.

 And that is how Hugo made it onto a mug.

“I think it’s incredibly important to get to know your public radio station,” Robert recently told us as we chatted about Hugo over a cup of tea, “especially having moved from anther state, it’s important to get to know what’s around and what’s going on.”

Robert donated the use of his drawing to WCVE because he believes in the power of public radio and we couldn’t be more grateful to share his creative cat with listeners.  When listeners donate their time, talents (and yes) their dollars to the station, we’re reminded of the overwhelming generosity of the Richmond community and the responsibility we have to provide exceptional programming.

Hugo’s the perfect little mascot for our spring 2017 pledge drive because like public radio, he’s a scrappy fella with a lot of heart and a little too much caffeine.

Become a member of 88.9 WCVE at

Purchase a Hugo the Cat mug at a WCVE Mug Stop.

See more of Robert Brossart's artwork at and on Instagram at @brossart3.

Follow WCVE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see more photos from the Mug Stops.

 About Mug Stops:

Each spring and fall during our pledge drives we like to have our radio hosts meet and talk with the community in coffee shops around town; we call these events Mug Stops. At each Mug Stop we invite the community to get a free cup of coffee by engaging with us social media using #pledgeWCVE. We also offer the exclusive opportunity to get our newest collectible social coffee mug when you pledge your support. For the week’s final Mug Stop we invite the community to join us for happy hour at a local brewery.


*Photo by Doug Ash @dougashphotography,  Edited by Matthew Jones @peace_of_mind_designs, Hugo the Cat created by Robert Brossart @brossart3