After two years Sun Peaks’ first cannabis retail shop is nearly ready to open
Thanks to four Sun Peaks residents who dreamt big, Sun Peaks’ first cannabis retail store will open later this fall.
Friends and volunteer colleagues Melissa and Kyle Vike and Sonya and Pat Nasilowski first partnered two years ago to begin the tumultuous process of opening the store in Sun Peaks.
After countless applications, long waiting periods, drumming up community support and finding the perfect location, the couples are putting the finishing touches on the business.
In addition to opening the business all four partners have other careers and each couple welcomed their first child last year.
The business partners expect to open the doors of Flight Deck Cannabis sometime in November after completing extensive renovations and receiving final approval from the province and municipality.
“I think we all saw that this is a new, or newly legal, industry and we had the opportunity to be on the ground floor,” Sonya said. “It has definitely posed some challenges but I think overall the community was so supportive of us and the municipality already had bylaws in place for when cannabis was going to be legalized. So compared to a lot of other municipalities we maybe had it easy.”
Sonya explained they also haven’t faced the same apprehension from residents as cannabis retail businesses have in other communities.
“Part of that is coming from a small community and everybody knowing us. I think that a lot of the fear for some people about having cannabis in the community is [stopped because] we’re volunteers with Rotary, we’re volunteer firefighters. We’re parents too so we have high levels of ethics and values, people recognize that.”
The group has put energy into deciding what the customer experience should be, landing on a space that is welcoming and modern.
“We definitely want to be really customer focused,” Sonya said. “We want the customer experience to be really positive. I noticed when I go into a lot of the other stores they’re not really asking specific questions and you don’t even really know where to start because there are so many new products. I’m somebody with experience with cannabis and I already feel overwhelmed.”
She said with a wide variety of customers, from tourists purchasing cannabis for the first time to the experienced user, they want to provide education that gives each customer a good experience.
“We’re going to be offering everything that we can.”
Specific products are still being finalized but she said they will offer flower, concentrates such as cannabis distillate, resin or shatter, edibles such as beverages, cookies, chocolate and mints, topicals, as well as pre-rolled joints to appeal to tourists.
High end accessories will also be a focus.
“We’re going to have things like gold rollies, intricate glass bongs, so some art pieces. It’s kind of the most fun part of the process, just looking at all the amazing glass artists.
“We’re also going to focus on bringing in Canadian products because all the cannabis that we’re receiving is Canadian so we also want to focus on bringing in Canadian accessories, things that are eco-friendly like reusable glass blunts instead of using papers.”
In addition to in store shopping Flight Deck will also offer a click and collect online ordering service.
Most of all, Sonya said, they want the community to know their focus is on safety.
“We’re going to be following every regulation, our building is going to be really secure and we want to put the safety of our employees and our customers first. So that beyond customer service our number one priority is safety.”
When customers first visit the store this fall they will be greeted with well thought out displays alongside a variety of aviation decor, pieces that are a nod both to the name and partner Kyle’s personal background working with planes.
“It’s a bit of play on words as well,” she said. “Flying, getting high. It works on both sides. The flight deck is also where you get briefed before you take off.”
Follow along on Instagram as they work to open the shop, @flightdeckcannabis or www.flightdecksunpeaks.com when their website is live.
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