We all know the benefits of shopping locally – our money stays in the community, we build vibrant neighbourhoods, and everyone benefits. But did you know that shopping at independently-owned stores like Little Leaf Cannabis Co. Inc. does more than support a thriving community? Independent cannabis stores also give the consumer a great shopping experience.
For Leanne McPhie and Paul Thompson, co-founders of Little Leaf Cannabis, stocking a great selection, offering unbiased advice, and having the ability to quickly adapt to changes in the industry are all benefits that independently-owned cannabis stores bring to their communities.
Great Selection of Cannabis in Stratford
When cannabis was first legalized for sale through retail stores, the number of products available was limited and many stores carried similar stock. These days, the licensed cannabis producers are making more products than any one store can carry.
“I think that a lot of consumers assume that we still all carry the same product. The OCS is now up to about 1800 products that we can choose from and we are starting to see a lot of differentiation between the stores,” explains Paul. “Since we are independently-owned, we don’t have to focus on two or three brands like retailers who make deals with specific licenced producers. We stock 80 to 90 different brands.”
Paul continues, “As an independent store, we get to buy our own inventory, so we take the time to research the products that are available to us. Our menu is constantly evolving. It's not growing stale, it's not stagnant, it's not waiting for a few licensed producers to bring out a new product. The evolution of our menu is constantly turning.”
“We have a lot of customers that regularly request product, too. Someone who is experienced with cannabis can ask for specific products that they want to try and we can get it for them,” adds Leanne.
Honest, Unbiased Advice
Since independently-owned cannabis stores like Little Leaf are not tied to specific licensed producers, they are free to offer unbiased advice to their customers.
Leanne explains, “Since our team is involved in the curation and selection of the inventory, we can all offer honest, unbiased advice. We are not obligated to sell certain brands or products so we can tell you what we think of every product based on our experience.”
Quick to Adapt
Another clear advantage of independently-owned cannabis stores is their ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the retail world. During the recent Roger’s outage, Little Leaf was able to quickly make some changes and open their doors while others remained closed for the day.
“We can shift on a dime and really hone in on what the consumer wants and then react to it quickly,” says Paul.
For example, Little Leaf has started to offer glass cleaning services. What started as a special fundraising event quickly became a permanent part of Little Leaf’s service menu.
“A portion of what you pay for glass cleaning goes towards the women’s shelter so we can look after the community while taking care of the most grueling task that most cannabis users hate – cleaning their glassware,” explains Leanne.
In the end, shopping at independently-owned stores within the community not only keeps money circulating close to home, but they also give customers a better shopping experience.
To experience everything an independently- owned cannabis store has to offer, visit Little Leaf Cannabis Co. Inc. at 804 Ontario Street in Stratford. Little Leaf. Big Experience.