WATSONVILLE—Watsonville’s first retail cannabis store, called The Hook, opens on Friday. The 3,600-square-foot warehouse is located on a stretch of Hangar Way road in a rapidly growing part of the city, which includes the Slough Brewing and Santa Cruz Cider Co.
Co-owner Bryce Berryessa says the space inside The Hook was modeled on an 80s motif, which includes display cases built from empty arcade video games, with the goal of being the “funniest” dispensary in the world. county.
More importantly, Berryessa says she wanted to offer a personalized and knowledgeable service of products that are grown and produced locally.
“Our goal is to sell cannabis as cheaply as we can to the masses,” he said. “We wanted it to be a great experience that wasn’t unpretentious or that could make people feel uncomfortable.”
In addition to flowers, The Hook also offers wellness products such as CBD oil and tinctures.
Berryessa’s business also has a smaller location in Capitola and the Tree House dispensary in Santa Cruz. He also owns several cultivation operations.
The Capitola and Santa Cruz locations were the first dispensaries to be part of Think Local First and were the first dispensaries to obtain Green Business certification, says Berryessa.
“Local ties are incredibly important to us,” he said.
This philosophy extends to the art of business, with most produced locally.
Berryessa has been part of the South County cannabis scene since it was legalized five years ago.
His was the first licensed cannabis business in the city of Watsonville and was part of the mayor’s advisory committee in 2015 when the city was studying ways to regulate the industry.
“Retail was a dream,” he said. “We’re very excited to be able to come and do something special for Watsonville.”
It seems like the right time for retail cannabis in the city. Berryessa says a large percentage of her customers in Capitola come from Watsonville and notes that Santa Cruz Naturals, which opened a dispensary in Pajaro in 2019, is thriving.
General manager Stephanie Kimitsuka, who also describes herself as a “haggling officer,” says she has a job to connect with as many local producers as she can, keeping prices low and supporting the people she lives with. and works here.
About 50 percent are “hyper-local,” Kimitsuka says, and a high percentage are considered local. This is important in a region based on agriculture.
“You don’t just sell THC, there’s a whole story behind the products,” he said. “The goal is to get flower that is grown locally, that is amazing and that we can pass on the savings.”
Kimitsuka says she plans to hire staff who live locally and want to have a Spanish-speaking guard at all times.
“We want to do well for Watsonville and the community,” he said.
Marketing Director Bailey Blackney says the entire business, from the ease of ordering through the website to in-store customer service, is designed to streamline the cannabis shopping experience.
“What’s really important is that our customers know that they will be cared for even before they walk through the door,” he said.
The Hook Outlet is located at 11 Hangar Way in Watsonville. Open daily from 11:30 to 19:00. For information, visit hookoutlet.com or send an email [email protected]. The business is scheduled to celebrate its grand opening on November 6th.