Freeport St. dispensary a first for Dot; familiar faces called key to its opening

High Profile x Budega, the first recreational cannabis dispensary in Dorchester, is headed by a familiar face, especially for those who have spent time at Fields Corner.

The High Profile x Budega store opened in mid-March and has been doing good business so far, said co-owner Brian Chavez – whose family has been active in Fields Corner commercial circles for at least 30 years.

“We are the first recreational dispensary in Dorchester and we’re proud of it,” said Chavez, who also operates Antonio’s Hi-Fi Pizza with his brother in Fields Corner. “I feel like what we’ve seen so far are that about 50 percent of our customers are local and others come from other neighborhoods, or they work in the area and stop in for their cannabis products after work. Freeport Street is a very transient street and so there is a mix of local people and people from other neighborhoods.”

One of three projects for Chavez is High Profile x Budega. Another is at 561 Dudley St. in Uphams Corner and another is Roslindale. The site at Freeport Street was the third to be fully licensed. However, construction schedules put it at the top of the list when it comes to opening.

Chavez stated that he was introduced by C3 Industries, a Michigan-based cannabis company, during the licensing process. He learned about their successes in Missouri, Michigan, and Oregon. The company also owns a Franklin, Mass., cultivation facility to grow and distribute their cannabis products. ‘Cloud Cover’brand of cannabis strains. C3 was founded on the ownership of Vishal and Ankur Rungta. This intrigued Chavez.

“I feel like every situation and partnership is unique,”He said. “When we first started the process, we started licensing two locations… and we decided to partner up with them on this…I like that they are run by two brothers and it’s a family operation, much like my own situation…The family dynamic of them working together is something I can relate to with my family. I work a lot with family members and with my brother at the pizza shop. I know that unique dynamic of working with family.”

Since the early days of Fields Corner, the Chavez family has been active in the area. Brian said his parents came to Boston from the Dominican Republic and his father is well known for operating Hannibal Auto Repair on Adams Street and on Victory Road – and now at the former Steinbach’s Auto site at the corner of Adams and Gibson Streets.

Follow us on Twitter or Pinterest or Google News: Read the latest content, follow us and get notified when the new article is being published.
Shop Now

“My father has ties in the community for more than 30 years operating his business,”He said. “After I got out of college, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps as a small business owner and entrepreneur in this community.”

In 2015, Chavez and his brother took over the landmark Hi-Fi Pizza shop in Fields Corner and transformed it into Antonio’s Hi-Fi – which has re-grounded the popular shop as an anchor in Fields Corner. He introduced the BOS Burger concept across the street a few years later. He said that he did so because it was a good business decision.

Those experiences were the catalyst for his entry into the cannabis industry. He quickly established a foothold in the industry and was able to navigate a complex and constantly changing process.

He stated that having a familiar face was a big factor in winning the approval of neighbors in Fields Corner or Columbia-Savin Hill.
Given that he is a known personality in the neighborhood, even residents who weren’t happy about cannabis businesses were less skeptical of his involvdementy in the business.

“I think that was a big factor in the community being open to us here,”He said. “Even people who were against cannabis recognized me and my father and the work we’ve done and investment we’ve made in the community…It made it hard to say ‘no’ and I’m grateful and fortunate that the community has embraced the opening of this store.”

Angelica Morales is the assistant manager at Freeport’s dispensary. She helps maintain a clean and organized ship. The store and back-of house operations run like clockwork and are clean. She stated that they sell everything from cannabis buds (cannabis flowers) to edibles, oils, vapes and pills. They are different from other shops because of their experience and the way they sell cannabis.

“We are one of the only stores that offers deli-style bud, which is one of the big things that makes us unique,”She spoke. “When someone wants to purchase from one gram up to one ounce – which is the legal limit – they can compare and smell and see what product they would like, and even mix and match up to eight strains. Other dispensaries have everything pre-packaged, but here we offer the deli-style selection, which you cannot get everywhere.”

Chavez stated that a large parking lot and a convenient location for T have made a big difference in the beginning. He also stressed the importance of local hiring.

“The Freeport building was empty for a lot of years,”He said. “If a business located here, it wouldn’t last. The dispensary opening here has really changed that dynamic on this block.”

Both Morales and Chavez pointed out that the parking lot and facility are now covered by security cameras and employees, making it safer than before they arrived. In the end, though, being first on the block doesn’t necessarily allow a business to throw caution to the wind. Like the pizza or burger business, Chavez said it’s all about the customer experience.

“It’s like most other retail businesses – quality of product and customer service have to be prominent,”He said. “Making the customer feel important and being able to engage with the staff goes a long way. It can be the difference between coming here or driving 30 minutes to another location.”

High Profile x Budega is open every day from 10 am to 9 pm at 43 Freeport St. in Dorchester.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *