Hugs + Mugs is café and retail store run by our GiGi U graduates, now referred to as “interns” along with our support staff. Each will manage different aspects of a real life retail environment.

Hugs & Mugs creates gifts from the heart: personalized mugs printed with artwork and photos-your design or ours-you choose!  Adults from GiGi University are involved in running ALL aspects of the business-design, production, food prep, baking, packaging, and customer service. During the 18 week career training program, interns will continue developing the skills newly learned at GiGi U.  Each will manage different aspects of a real life retail environment- from managing money transactions, to customer service, to inventory control, to fulfilling online orders, safe food handling skills, employee training and more.  Support staff also provides assistance in job preparation skills via mock interviews.  Throughout this internship, interns receive individualized, hands-on training applicable to a variety of work experiences through community engagement which leads to achievement of goals through work or volunteer experiences. Various volunteer engagements are made available for future career opportunities for communities to support the overall broadening of Down syndrome awareness through engagement efforts.


Today we are happy to welcome Farzin to the #gigisblog Farzin was a graduate of the first GiGiU class and now volunteers his time at Hugs & Mugs to mentor the interns.  Farzin is a “let’s get the job done well” guy and he makes sure everyone is giving their #bestofall.

“Hugs + Mugs Cafe is a great place to come and see all the different things we have in the store.  We have holiday parties, birthday parties & more!

At GiGi’s Playhouse we have GiGi University, this teaches us how to be, Whole U, Healthy U and Confident U.  I like the shirts, hat and bags we sell at Hugs + Mugs.  All of the interns and mentors do a great job helping with the costumers.  We greet and open the door when customers come in the store. We take this job seriously!  That’s a  big challenge for us sometimes but we do out best and do not give up.   My favorite job is serving gelato and making shakes. I also like to help design mugs.  We have binders for art fi you are not sure what you want on your mug,  if you find one you like  we can make it for you! You will love Hugs + Mugs, just come visit and see!”


Farzin shares his thought about what Generation G means to him.

Will you share what Generation G means to you? Please leave us a comment.

Be Accepting. Be Generous. Be Kind.



GiGi's Playhouse


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