Article by High! Canada
High! Canada Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with the very engaging Miss Amber York, CEO of the very popular Edible brand York’s Edibles. Hi Amber – Tell us a little more about yourself?
I was lucky to be born and raised in a little island in the Caribbean named Trinidad and Tobago to a family of chefs, bakers and the finest home cooks. Growing up with all that inspiration by food and dessert. It fueled my mind to take it places it hasn’t been before, and I went from being Amber to Ms. York’s Edibles and the rest was History from there.
What led you into a career within the Canadian cannabis industry? Tell us about how you got involved in the cannabis industry?
My parents grew and smoked cannabis all my life, and it wasn’t until my Dad passed away from cancer in 2015 that I started exploring the medicinal properties of cannabis. Soon after, I became the middle ”man” for everything green, including edibles (not mine) . I met some reputable people along the way, and connections became golden. My middle man business was getting complaints because the edibles I was receiving from a previous supplier were not working. I contacted the supplier to ask if they would be able to train me and we could further assist this problem together. They said they were going to give me a call back and never did. Then I started experimenting with decarboxylation, extracting and infusing. It took me 3 months to get my ”secret” and about 6 months until edibles were then incorporated back into my hustle. It was so underground that any edibles you got from me back then were in foil packaging, Yup. you read it, foil. That lasted for about another 6 months. I knew if I wanted to do anything with this idea of mine I would have to stop taking it out of foil to show people. I was already working with Green Dynasty, which is an extract and vape company. one day I decided to pitch my idea to my partner- the boss of G.D and there I was again reaching into my bag grabbing individual foil wrapped cookies , I opened it and said ” try this and only eat a little piece and try the rest when you go home”- he came back the next day and told me that he absolutely loved it. He introduced his people to me and I went from word of mouth and foil packaging to a Canadian online store, child proof packaging, pop ups, wholesale and retail, merch and a second company called Koala Bear Edibles. Which is all vegan, no sugar, no dairy, paleo, non GMO.
Did you encounter any challenges or adversity to adopting a full time role in the expanding Canadian cannabis market and if so what did you do to overcome them and successfully move forward?
With a new company like mine, you have a lot of new company work because you have nobody to delegate tasks to. The good thing about being an entrepreneur , that you can pick your own hours, it was more of a detriment to my health because I would network and communications all day and bake from like 12-4am and sleep for like 3 hours and do it all over again. It was to the point where I would go to bake and I just couldn’t, so I took a week off work and just took it easy and caught up on sleep. After that week, the first thing I did was make a schedule to ensure I could get at least 4-6 hours every night.
What are you working on now. Can you run us through an average day for you?
My day starts off with an hour long workout with my dogs, then baking, meetings, calls, deliveries, working on new edible products, company paper work, compassionate work and new thc cosmetic product development. Right now we are working on thc oral spray and perfumes. We are also in the process of improving our packaging.
Plans for the future – personally and professionally
Personally I am looking to forward my career as a cannabis baker. It is so rewarding when people tell me ” wow , your product took my pain away and I didn’t have to swallow 3 pills to go to bed and get up throughout the night”. Professionally I would want and love to see both companies York’s Edibles & Koala Bear Edibles as a ‘walk-in’ thc bakery where you can safely and accurately consume baked fresh goods to thc water.
Last question – what are three things that you think everyone should be doing?
Three rules in life
1) If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
2) If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
3) If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.