At the OCS, we’re thrilled to be working with a rapidly growing roster of retail partners who are raising the bar when it comes to offering customers great in-store experiences and next-level product knowledge — each in their own style and even in these fast-changing times. Here are just three of the many businesses that really shone over the past year and that we’re proud to call our partners.
Bonnefire on Queen West in Toronto
Gather ‘round for a story of a retail cannabis store that opened amid the COVID-19 pandemic — a scary proposition for anyone. But the team at Bonnefire took care and precaution to safely and successfully open the Toronto flagship location at 244 Queen Street West on March 27. Joe Khan, General Manager, says they already feel right at home on Queen Street West, with its pedestrian-friendly retailers, colourful street life, historical architecture, and universal appeal to locals and tourists. “Like our community, Bonnefire aims to foster a diverse and inclusive space,” says Joe, who points out that part of the 4,400 square foot store’s second floor is for community use. “Once the restrictions on social gatherings lift, we plan to use this space to conduct workshops on a wide range of cannabis-related topics such as cooking with cannabis, strain features, the correct use of accessories, rolling classes and informational seminars.”
In the meantime, the store is running a canned food drive to support Daily Bread Food Bank and taking donations in-store.
The selection at Bonnefire is as eclectic as its surrounding neighbourhood. “We pride ourselves in keeping a large variety of flower on hand, and try to carry cannabis with high potency and exciting terpenes,” says Joe.
He expects the sales of on-the-go items like edibles and chilled drinks to increase. And with Bonnefire’s first-ever Customer Appreciation Day approaching on June 26, we know things are just heating up for this cannabis business.
Bud & Sally in Kitchener-Waterloo
One of the biggest milestones for the owners of Bud & Sally was establishing the first premium cannabis retail store in the Kitchener-Waterloo area this spring. But they’re most proud of the work they’re doing to build community. What’s their secret? “Our team is incredible,” says John Radostits, who co-owns Bud & Sally with Michelle Radostits. “We have some very passionate cannabis gurus on the team that have a full depth of knowledge and awareness. They are delighting our customers daily with suggestions and ideas on how best to enjoy cannabis.”
As COVID-19 restrictions ease up, the trusted team at Bud & Sally are eager to get back to the thing they love most — helping new customers make their first purchases. Owners John and Michelle are always excited to talk about the range of products they carry and what their community likes best. “We have a wide variety of accessories that have been very well received by our customers. We are now showcasing some fun silicon pipes, bongs, and grinders that are great for active people.”
They’ve reopened their store with limited capacity and also provide product recommendations on their site’s blog for those who prefer to browse online.
Tokyo Smoke (10 Ontario locations)
What started as a design-focused purveyor of cannabis-related accessories and hand-crafted coffees has grown into one of the most prolific legal cannabis retailers in the province, with ten stores open across Ontario, including locations in Toronto, Ottawa, Oshawa, Cambridge, Stoney Creek, North Bay, and Thunder Bay.
The first Tokyo Smoke retail cannabis store in Ontario at 333 Yonge Street (Yonge and Dundas Square) in Toronto recently celebrated its first anniversary, while the newest store at 21 Bloor Street East just opened. “We’re excited to be able to bring the Tokyo Smoke experience to the Yorkville and Church Village neighbourhoods, as well as to commuters who will be able to access this store via the Bloor-Yonge subway entrance,” says Melissa Gallagher, Director of Franchising, Canopy Growth.
“At Tokyo Smoke, we’re all about being a good neighbour in the communities that welcome us in, and we’ve been blown away by the support from these first seven communities.”
What’s delighting customers right now? Melissa tells us that edibles have been popular and bring in a new category of guests. “We also see a ton of interest in cannabis-infused beverages, which have been flying off store shelves!”
Upcoming events at Tokyo Smoke locations include a Father’s Day celebration on June 21 and a Canada Day online panel discussion on June 29.