Article by Tom Morrison, Chatham This Week
Chatham’s newest cannabis store is now open for withdrawals.
Bud Bank Inc., located at the former CIBC branch at 445 Richmond St., is the third retail store of its kind to open in Chatham and fourth in Chatham-Kent.
“I think we really nailed it with this one,” owner Don Tretrault Jr. said. “We basically started from scratch. We designed everything ourselves.
“It’s crazy to see it come together and actually be what it was in my mind.”
Tetrault credited general manager Alaina Gutoskie with coming up with the look of the building, which kept a few features from the original bank.
“We left in the brick, the wood deck, the ceiling,” Tetrault said. “We kind of brought the old-school comfortable feel out of it. When you come in here … it’s not so sterile like a lot of places. It’s welcoming. It’s warm.”
The original vault from the bank, which is used to store the cannabis products, is also visible from a distance within the store.
The store features jars to smell all of the available dried flower before purchasing, plus glass display cases for the other product types, including pre-rolls, vapes, edibles, beverages and concentrates.
Visitors can also view a list of items on display boards or pre-order through an online menu at www.budbank.shop.
Tetrault said they are proud to be a locally-owned company.
“All of our contractors are from Chatham and when we built this place, we wanted to keep all of the money within Chatham,” he said. “We wanted this to be something by Chatham, for Chatham, that was something different.”
Bud Bank has hired 16 employees so far and Tetrault said they could be adding more soon.
The other stores in Chatham include The We Store on St. Clair Street and Herbologi on King Street West. Higher Limits Cannabis Company is open in Blenheim.
There are another five in Chatham, two in Wallaceburg, two in Tilbury and one in Blenheim awaiting approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Tetrault, who submitted his application back in January, said the local retail market is starting to get competitive.