Opening a new retail business is a daunting task for most, but the challenges are even bigger when you’re jumping into a brand-new industry full of ever-changing rules and regulations.
Leanne McPhie and Paul Thompson, co-owners of Little Leaf Cannabis Co. Inc., did just that. They dove into the world of recreational cannabis not long after legalization and have learned a lot along the way. And according to the pair, they couldn’t have done it alone.
“Our local cannabis community, the licensed producers that we work with, other organizations that support local businesses like StratfordToday.ca, and of course our phenomenal staff have all contributed to helping us get to where we are now,” says Paul.
Leanne continues, “Our staff have all been with us since Day 1. They are all so incredibly passionate about cannabis and are eager to share their knowledge. They have really tuned-in conversations with our customers and make safe and reasonable recommendations that are guided by the consumers’ needs.”
Consumer Feedback Helps Guide the Business
Being able to provide Little Leaf Cannabis’ consumers with exceptional service is a key element in Leanne and Paul’s business philosophy. The proof of their success is evident in the type of feedback they get from people who walk in their door as strangers and come back again as friends. Some comments from customers include:
“So many nice things to say about this company. The owners and staff are extremely humble, they have the knowledge and the ability to help out individual customers that may or may not know which strain is for them. If you come to these people, you will not be let down.”
“We walked into a big, open, well organized weed wonderland. It was beautiful.”
“Low pressure staff, they don't rush you. Keen on finding the RIGHT product for your needs (whatever works for you).”
“Thanks for the excellent service. Every recommendation your staff made has been stellar either in value or quality.”
“We want to thank our customers for not only supporting local, but for giving us useful feedback. We have been able to curate our menu towards quality, value, and a good selection of craft products because our customers have been open about their experiences,” says Leanne.
Close Connections with Licensed Cannabis Producers
Another key relationship that the team at Little Leaf continues to rely on is with licensed cannabis producers.
“We have found that the reps who come to the store are super helpful, they are engaged, and they keep us informed. They are like an extended resource for Little Leaf who we can always count on. We really want to thank them for all of their support,” Paul says.
The admiration goes both ways. The licensed producers that work with Little Leaf also have great things to say. One licensed producer wrote, “One of my most purpose-filled moments on my journey has been visiting your iconic business in this great city of entertainment. The principles by which Little Leaf operates is humbling and reminds me of the good things that give our industry and this plant hope.”
Keep Learning, Keep Growing
So much has changed in the recreational cannabis industry since legalization, which has made it necessary for the Little Leaf team and other locally owned and operated retail cannabis stores to stay on their toes.
“We have learned to adapt to the changing needs of the cannabis environment,” explains Paul. “The needs of our customers change, the rules and regulations within the industry are always changing, and even the types of products available have changed immensely. When we first opened our doors, we had 700 products to choose from and now there are 2500 products available to us. The quality of the products has also improved.”
Leanne adds, “I think that we’ve learned that no two consumers are the same. Cannabis is really for the individual needs of each consumer.”
“I have gained a whole new appreciation for the cannabis plant. My eyes have really opened to the wellness side of the business and the true power of this incredible plant,” concludes Paul.
Visit Little Leaf Cannabis online or in person at 804 Ontario Street in Stratford to see for yourself why the local cannabis community, licensed producers, and the staff all love this locally owned and operated store so much.