LOCALLY OWNED, INDEPENDENT CANNABIS RETAILER ACHIEVES TOP SALES IN WATERLOO REGION AS IT CELEBRATES ONE YEAR
Highland Cannabis — a true “mom-and-pop shop” — out performs big corporate chains and franchises across the province
KITCHENER, ON | February 15, 2022 — One year after its opening on January 12, 2021, Highland Cannabis, a local and independently owned cannabis retailer, has achieved top sales for two consecutive months in Waterloo Region. Led by owners Owen and Niki Allerton, the local mom-and-pop shop is superseding its corporate, franchised competition. According to the latest report from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), in December 2021 and January 2022 Highland landed the number one spot in sales of the 53 stores open in the region, offering quality customer service that caters to its local audience.
Of the 1,365 stores across Ontario open to the public, Highland was in the top 10 in the province in December, and was number one in beverage sales. To compete with big chain stores, the Allertons built a unique service model focused on providing every single customer with a personal shopper, paired with an intuitive store design and strong company culture.
“The support we’ve seen from the community has been overwhelming,” says Niki Allerton. “We show up for them and them for us, staffing our store so customers never have to wait more than a minute or two for service. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s how important it is to stand with our small businesses, and just how eager people are to do so.”
Since opening, Highland has created 25 new jobs in Kitchener and is an official nominee of the Employee Engagement Award for the 2022 Business Excellence Awards Gala hosted by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. In contrast to most cannabis retail service models, which operate with very few employees, Highland has a team of 25 full and part time employees operating under a ‘people heavy’ model ensuring customers don’t have to wait for service.
“What really sets us apart from chain stores is that our huge team of Budtenders are like family,” says Owen Allerton. “Everyone jokingly refers to Niki and I as ‘Mom and Dad,’ and we host regular gatherings outside of work.”
This past December, the Allertons hosted a Cannabis infused Christmas dinner for the team. Travis Peterson — also known as the Nomad Chef, a renowned cannabis chef — prepared the four-course, Michelin five-star meal for the staff while they enjoyed good company.
“With restrictions on and off over the last year, it’s been easier than ever to feel alone,” says Skylar O’Connor, Assistant Manager at Highland Cannabis. “But seeing familiar faces at work, both coworkers and customers, has made all the difference for me.”
This data comes after December’s announcement that, for the first time ever, sales made through Ontario’s legal cannabis channels have exceeded those made through the illicit market. Highland offers one of the region’s largest selections with over 1,100 unique products from across Canada, including locally grown options from Wagners (formerly JWC), Green Seal Cannabis in Stratford and Royal City Cannabis in Puslinch.
With competition in the industry rising as 26 more stores are set to open in the region over the next six months, Highland is confident in their community, the support they have seen so far and success to date.
“We’ve done what the big corporate chain stores can’t: created a family that is part of the community — and that comes naturally to us as a family that has lived and worked in KW for over 20 years,” says Owen. “And we can’t wait for what’s to come in 2022.”
For more information on Highland Cannabis, please visit https://highlandonhighland.com/.
ABOUT HIGHLAND CANNABIS
Founded in 2020, Highland Cannabis is Kitchener’s one-stop shop for local, independently sourced quality products while delivering efficient and personalized services. Through providing their patrons of all experience levels with the knowledge to shop confidently and comfortably, Highland Cannabis caters to the local community and emphasizes the importance of local initiatives to help Kitchener grow.
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