2021 has been their year.
Without a doubt, making the cannabis retail experience safe, accessible and uncomplicated (particularly for the most green adults) is no easy feat. But one Ontario-based shop has made this difficult-to-achieve mission their bread and butter.
Northern Helm — which just opened their fifth location Ottawa and is set to open their sixth in Oshawa this September — has made it their goal to provide top-notch service to consumers through everything they do: from how they train their staff to how they've laid out their shops.
This might seem like a subtle detail, but the sleek and straightforward store layout is specifically designed to ensure customers feel at ease.
"Our mission is to create a retail environment that makes consumers comfortable," Northern Helm's founder and CEO, David Côté, told Narcity.
Of course, the most integral part of any brand's setup is the staff. Every Northern Helm location is licensed by a local owner, making each store perfectly suited to meeting the needs of the customers in their area.
Focused on providing customers with the help they might need to make an informed decision about cannabis use, whether as a new or experienced cannabis user, Northern Helm rigorously trains managers to ensure that they're equipped to handle multiple situations.
This also ensures that the Northern Helm team is well trained to answer any cannabis-related questions guests may have about the selection of cannabis products available — from edibles and beverages to concentrates, topical products and more.
Some of this knowledge is reflected in the FAQ section of their website, which answers questions like why you need an ID to enter the shop (it's necessary to ensure all guests are at least 19 years old), and what to expect if you've never visited a cannabis store before.
"The pandemic has changed how consumers interact with retail. Of course, there are nerves around heading back into being around people and in spaces," said David.
"With that said, we're really starting to see people wanting to engage with IRL experiences and expertise. People want more of an immersive shopping experience—with safety in mind. Northern Helm offers that to our communities."
While improving the customer experience and opening a dialogue about cannabis are at the top of Northern Helm's priorities, they're also interested in sustainably scaling their services across legalized communities.
They currently have 5 locations in Ontario, including Danforth in Toronto, Kingston, Bowmanville, Courtice and the Ottawa outpost, which opened September 1. By the end of 2021, the brand is planning to open even more stores, effectively doubling its footprint and extending its services to even more Ontarians.
In early September, another new Northern Helm location will open its doors: Oshawa (September 10). Like all Northern Helm locations, both curbside and in-store pickup will be available.
To learn more about Northern Helm, their products and the recent opening of the Ottawa store, visit their website or check them out on Facebook and Instagram.
Narcity does not condone the overconsumption of any legal substances. If you're going to consume cannabis, please do so responsibly and only if you're of legal age.