Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mocha with Molly at Grounds & Hounds, a Dalmatian Is the Mascot and Proceeds Help Dogs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mocha with Molly at Grounds & Hounds, a Dalmatian Is the Mascot and Proceeds Help Dogs

Article excerpt

Brown spots speckle the white body of an amber-eyed Dalmatian named Molly, and Molly and her spots adorn every bag of fair trade organic coffee sold by Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.

Molly was rescued in California five years ago by Jordan Karcher, a 2005 graduate of Shaler Area High School. He saw her at a Dalmatian adoption event in Santa Monica when she was 8 months old, infested with ticks and a very skinny 20 pounds. When she climbed into his lap, he knew he had to have her.

Two years later, when Molly was a healthy 44 pounds, he started his own company, now based in Lawrenceville, where he could combine his love of dogs with his love of coffee.

"EVERY POUND SAVES A HOUND" is emblazoned on the bags because 20 percent of proceeds are donated to animal shelters and rescue organizations.

A total of $85,000 has been donated to 20 organizations across the country. Locally $5,000 has gone to Humane Animal Rescue, Animal Friends and some smaller organizations.

Grounds & Hounds was started March 21, 2014, while Mr. Karcher was getting his MBA at Notre Dame. He and Molly worked in South Bend, Ind., for a while and then in Nashville, Tenn., before moving back to Pittsburgh a year ago.

Mr. Karcher and Molly live in the Strip District and work in a second-floor office at 3803 Butler St. in Lawrenceville.

On a recent day they took a work break at the sidewalk tables of Piccolo Forno, the restaurant below their office.

Molly sat nicely under the table, wagging her tail at the dogs and people who walked by. Some of them stopped to pet her. Some are "regulars" that she knows well because they live or work nearby.

Mr. Karcher admits that taking his dog to work every day was a perk that he wanted.

Grounds & Hounds is doing well, he said, growing at 45 percent a year. "We've sold 60,000 pounds of coffee in the last 2 years. …

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