CAFE Opens on St. Clair – Find out What the Buzz is All About
Have you heard of CAFE?
I hadn’t either until a good friend of mine started working here – and since that day my life has changed.
As I began my career at CAFE as a trained budtender, I quickly realised that CAFE is a destination.
It’s a gathering place. It’s a movement. It’s different things to different people and that’s what makes it so special.
Put simply, it’s a new way of looking at life in Canada.
While it may seem like just another storefront, it really is so much more – and that’s why when people come in here, they’re amazed by what they find.
We are a one-stop-shop for all things coffee and cannabis, and fortunately, we just opened our third Toronto location in Corso Italia at St. Clair and Lansdowne.
We are not your typical cannabis retailer. We take considerable efforts to control the scent in our locations. You don’t walk by and get a waft of smoke permeating out of our establishment. Actually, you smell the beautiful scent of Barocco coffee.
Many of our customers just come in for our amazing coffee. Cannabis is safely tucked away behind our security door, far from those who are uninterested or too young to understand it. That’s what makes us unique and why people are talking. That’s why moms hang out here for a coffee with their kids.
Cannabis and Fine Edibles—CAFE for short—is a forward-thinking retailer. We foster functional wellness and safety. Education is paramount. In fact, we are the first cannabis retailer in Canada to introduce child-safety bags (in which all products leave our stores) that have now become mandated for all cannabis retailers by Health Canada. We only sell to those 19+ and have the technology in place to ensure all our patrons are of age. We are the first in Canada to develop a two-day Budtender and Barista training course including presentation materials, theory, exam and practical live-fire customer training exercises, all in a replicated environment.
We implement industry-leading practices and we are always thinking ahead of the game.
We have fully trained staff and a library of materials on-hand at each location to help educate patrons while they shop. Some of our regular customers come in, order what they need, pay and walk out. With others, our knowledgeable staff is always there to help identify what each person may need. Many come in to mitigate some kind of discomfort, seeking help with a variety of ailments, including multiple sclerosis, severe anxiety, insomnia or cancer. I love helping people and I love when they come back to tell me that they are feeling better. I’m sure you’d be surprised by this, but even Princess Margaret and St. Mike’s hospital representatives come in to see us for their patients — and we feel privileged and honoured that they have chosen us to help their patients cope, get relief or recover. They come to us because we are trusted and have portion controlled consumable products that no one else has. Different cannabis forms cannot be discriminated against and we find ourselves in a position of authority and responsibility to be able to provide reasonable, dignified access to products that can’t be found elsewhere.
Most people can’t understand the attention to detail we pay inside and outside of our stores. We have beautiful storefronts and have also gone to great lengths to contribute to our surrounding neighbourhoods. We’ve contributed to back-to-school backpack drives for those in need and we’ve sponsored family events like pumpkin carving contests, Easter egg hunts and community clean ups. We have become truly connected to our communities and that’s our goal with our newest location on St. Clair West. The editor of Toronto Life just this past September commented that our Harbord store is her “neighbourhood’s poshest cannabis dispensary” and that we “fit right in alongside the trendy restaurants, yoga studios and real estate brokerages.”
That’s the point. We are here to celebrate cannabis and its benefits and we want to do it gracefully, while enhancing the existing spirit of the communities where we have the privilege to operate.
We are really excited about the recent legalization changes to the Canadian cannabis landscape and we hope they help curb any stigma towards cannabis and give people a trusted option and alternative. There are so many benefits and examples of how cannabis has helped people feel good and we hope we can help people transition into this new world in a thoughtful, educational and responsible way.
I recognize there is still much to be learned and figured out. For example, I’m a strong believer that edibles should be just as legal as smoking cannabis, something that’s still in debate, yet was already confirmed by our Supreme Court years ago. Many people don’t want cannabis smoked in public — edibles are a good solution to that problem. Their portions are carefully controlled so consumption is clear and results are easy to determine. Edibles are legal, they just aren’t defined. In fact, as determined in the landmark case R v. Smith, it is actually unconstitutional to discriminate against different forms of cannabis. We try to uphold that right for our patrons.
I’m also reminded of a situation where two local parents (along with their medical doctors) chose to medicate their young, epileptic child with portion controlled edibles — in this case, the child experienced relief far better than any other drug they had tried before. It was humbling to be able to administer this relief.
I know this is just the beginning and I’m excited for what lies ahead.
We hope you will come to visit us, talk to us, and enjoy the CAFE experience first-hand. At CAFE, we are truly a family and the energy in this place is contagious – we hope that when you come in, you feel that too.
I love the buzz we are getting and that people are starting to discover who we are and how we fit in. I also love coming into work every day and meeting the many faces of our city.
“That’s why I AM CAFE.“
– JJ is a Barista & Trained Budtender at CAFE