Article by Daily Marijuana Observer
The Second Cup Ltd. (“Aegis Brands” or the “Company“) (TSX: SCU) announced that after its launch in Toronto in early July, Hemisphere Cannabis Co., a new chain of recreational dispensaries developed and operated by Aegis Brands, opens its second location in Toronto today. Aegis Brands is also the parent company of both Second Cup Coffee Co. and Bridgehead Coffee.
In marking the opening of this second location, Aegis Brands CEO Steven Pelton shared insight into the early success of Hemisphere’s first location at 1703 Avenue Road in Toronto, and the chain’s plans for continued growth. He also confirmed that the first Hemisphere location is already ahead of projections in sales and profitability.
“The ability to leverage our premium real estate across Canada – and to convert Second Cup locations to Hemisphere locations only as licenses are approved – is truly unparalleled,” said Pelton. “Couple that advantage with the fact that being part of Aegis provides Hemisphere with incredible leadership in marketing, HR, real estate and finance, with no need to build out a head office team from scratch. We have an industry-leading model that will allow the brand to be profitable within months of opening.”
The Hemisphere store experience was built to offer wayfinding for Canadians in their cannabis purchase journey. Pelton is confident that a premium in-store experience will be a key competitive advantage as the cannabis retail landscape continues to expand.
“We’ve leveraged forty years of retail experience to create a store environment that is truly second-to-none,” Pelton continued. “Hemisphere locations are warm and welcoming for everyone from the canna-curious to seasoned users – offering a guided experience for those who need it, and a simple-to-navigate shopping experience for those who don’t. As the cannabis retail market becomes more developed, we know that the quality of our in-store experience is going to become a critical point-of-difference. And there’s no one offering a better in-store experience right now than Hemisphere.”
He also reinforced the company’s broader plans for growth and development in the cannabis sector: Aegis is in the early stages of securing a cannabis partner to co-produce a branded line of cannabis products, which will be made available for sale in all Hemisphere locations. In addition, and subject to cannabis marketing regulations, the company is actively exploring the production of THC and CBD beverages featuring Second Cup flavours and branding.
“Our goal, pending future deregulation of CBD, is to make Second Cup the first national coffee chain to sell CBD beverages in our cafés,” said Pelton.
While all cannabis retail locations require government approval, Pelton has set a goal of 30 Hemisphere locations across the country by the end of 2022. Additional stores are already confirmed to open in the coming months in Ajax, Ottawa and Orleans, along with flagship Toronto locations on King Street West and Front Street East.