A Calm Retail Experience, Customized for the Neighborhood
Jul 17, 2019 07:09PM
Shopping at one of the eight Lightshade retail dispensaries in the Denver metro area is an experience in cool, calm, and studied relaxation. Each of the dispensaries is designed to have a look and feel that help customers relax, take their time and talk with experienced, knowledgeable budtenders.
“We don’t want to have a cold, corporate feel,” Lisa Gee, director of marketing and corporate social responsibility for Lightshade, says. “Our color scheme is warm and inviting, featuring beautiful artwork, and designed with reclaimed wood walls,” she says. “We take a design centric approach that combines Colorado-style sophistication and mountain-chic.”
The impetus for that experience comes from the top, because most of the ownership of Lightshade comes out of the real-estate industry as builders. Company CEO Steve Brooks was one of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified builders in Colorado.
“When the financial crisis hit in 2008, Steve Brooks became involved in building grow facilities, later partnering with John Fritzel and Tom Van Alsburg to launch Lightshade,” Gee explains. Lightshade has a new, 40,000 square foot, state of the art grow in Aurora that is set to double flower production while providing a 50 percent reduction in carbon footprint through aggressive recycling of both water and organic nutrients. Management expects to open more retail stores in the area this year, according to Gee.
Lightshade helps support 10 different non-profits as part of its company-wide corporate responsibility efforts, focusing on hunger, homelessness, older folks, and veterans, she says. “We financially support those causes and ask our employees to get involved.” She says that they do something to give back to their neighborhood communities almost every week.
Part of that social-responsibility drive is to help change the negative perceptions that some people still have about cannabis. “We take a direct approach to fit into our communities, because some of the neighborhoods didn’t want the retail businesses there,” she says. “We work overtime to make goodwill and community relationships part-and-parcel of what we do as a company and increase our industry’s capacity to do good.”
Lightshade employs creative, experimental and knowledgeable inventory directors with a passion for learning what products are out there and what people are looking for. “Our product mix intentionally represents a good/better/ best approach in each of the product categories we carry, so we can provide something for every kind of cannabis shopper.”