Article by Tony Saxon, Guelph Today
With 12 cannabis stores looking to open in Guelph, the owner of the downtown’s first store says customer service is what will separate his from the pack.
Qbud Cannabis was set to open its doors for the first time Friday at 9 a.m., located in the 3,500 square-foot store at 128 Wyndham St. N., the former home of Sidonio’s For Men clothing store.
Dima Kashuba said Qbud is a family owned and operated independent store, which he feels gives him an advantage.
Qbud is the city’s second cannabis store to open, following Spiritleaf in the Edinburgh Market Place. Several others are set to open soon.
“I have about 15 years of hospitality experience and have opened lots of bars and restaurants,” Kashuba said Thursday as they put the finishing touches on the brightly lit, mostly white interior.
“Opening a cannabis shop is not any different than opening a bar or a restaurant,” he said. “Hiring staff, bringing vendors, training people … no different than a bar.”
All the new cannabis stores are buying from the same supplier – the provincial government’s Ontario Cannabis Store, “how we execute after that is up to us,” he said.
“It’s going to be a very competitive market, but with my hospitality experience, I think we can win. By customer service.”
Qbud will open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Kashuba said when he advertised for staff he had 400 people apply and when he held a job fair people were lined up down the street. In the end he hired a staff of 25.
He first tried to get into the retail cannabis field two years ago when the province held a lottery for licences, but was unsuccessful.