Watch CBSN Live

Hugs On The Menu

There's a new business on a beach in Los Angeles, and Mikey Stubbs has cornered the market -- on hugs.

That's right hugs, all sorts of hugs.

Stubbs started what he calls a "delicatessen, (but), as opposed to different flavors of bagels, this is different flavors of hugs." A deli where hugs are doled out, made-to-order.

Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman paid a visit.

You name it, she says, and you can probably get it at Mikey's: a bear hug, a gangsta hug, a group hug, and of course, the ever-popular warm-and-fuzzy. Week after week, out on the beach, business seems to be booming.

Kauffman even put on an apron to help out as what Mikey calls a "hug ambassador."

To get a hug, she says, all you have to do is pay two compliments.

Mikey started his deli as an interactive art project, but he's finding hugs can make a big difference, and kept it going when he saw the impact it's having.

"Every once in a while," he told Kauffman, "we have people who haven't had human contact in quite awhile, and they'll get a hug and just break down."

More and more people are finding hugs can help out, especially in these troubled times.

"I suspect," University of California San Diego psychology professor Nicholas Christenfeld tod Kauffman, "people do need more reassurance now. ... People do love contact, and there's all sorts of evidence that people who have others they can turn to live longer healthier lives than people who are socially isolated, so these very primitive things are certainly important."

Hugging strangers, colleagues, teammates, partners, friends, even hugging animals all seem to have a positive effect, Kauffman observes.

But not everyone is so hug-friendly. Some passers-by keep right on passing when offered a hug.

And for those who find a hug too close for comfort, there's always the tried-and-true "high-five"!

For more on Mikey's deli, please e-mail