Cannabis Retail Guide: Burb, Port CoquitlamDaniel BettridgeOctober 16, 2019
Burb’s 3,700 square foot flagship location in Coquitlam, BC isn’t your usual cannabis store. In fact, when it first opened its doors in April 2019 the store didn’t sell cannabis products at all, and instead showcased the breakthrough brand’s collection of Canadian-crafted apparel and accessories.
But now after finally being granted its license, Burb can dovetail its aspirational product range with a kaleidoscope of cannabis products to pair with its uber stylized brand.
The end result is a space that falls somewhere between a chic boutique and an Instagram worthy eatery, a truly memorable experience that, as Burb Co-Founder and CEO John Kaye says, “is somewhere you want to come back to, and tell your friends about.”
Burb is all about quality over quantity. It’s a mantra that extends to its Coquitlam flagship, a chic and stylish space that manages to walk the tightrope between homey and aspirational.
Walking into Burb’s flagship store is like setting foot in a sleek and stylish New York loft. From the well worn leather couches to exposed architectural features, textured walls and lush greenery, it’s like the Airbnb you always dreamed of booking.
“Ultimately, we wanted to create a welcoming and inclusive shopping experience, whether you’re new to cannabis or an experienced enthusiast,” explains Kaye.
“We worked with Jennifer Dunn, an interior designer who’s also worked on modern retail spaces for brands like Aritzia and Saje, to create an open, airy space with high ceilings and room to explore.”
It’s not just the neutral colour palette and carefully curated furniture that makes this space calming either. Burb has deliberately chosen to de-tech its stores in favour of an altogether more authentic human experience. That means instead of being glued to iPads and touchscreen computers, customers are treated to personalized service from a crew of passionate cannabis experts.
It all adds up to an environment that encourages consumers to slow down and take their time. That’s great news for connoisseurs who enjoy their shopping experience, but by giving customers the time to feel calm and confident about their choices it’s also provided a great space for newcomers to explore the market too.
It feels like the entire industry is struggling to come up with intuitive ways to describe cannabis’ effects and make it more accessible to customers. The problem is that the same strain can have an entirely different effect on different people.
That problem is one of the main drivers behind Burb’s approach that leans towards personal interaction and thoughtful customer service. One of the things that stands out at the flagship store is the time that staff take to make customers feel comfortable and to help them find the right products. It’s more of a slow burn than a quick hit, an individualized experience that feels like you’ve got access to your own personal shopper.
“Our staff have been specially trained to help customers identify products that best suit their needs,” explains Kaye. “We want to let them know when strains become available, make tailored suggestions, reserve specific products, and just know each customer’s preference to create a memorable and tailored experience.”
Products and pricing
After receiving its license, Burb’s flagship store now offers a carefully curated selection of flower, pre-rolls, oil and gel capsules. That range is set to expand as new products like edibles and topical enter the legalized market.
In terms of selection, the range you’ll find on offer is unashamedly local. “As proud advocates of BC bud culture, we carry as much local product as possible,” says Kaye. “We’re obsessed with high quality flower, and currently have 18 strains on rotation. Our cultivars span a diverse array of cannabinoid and terpene profiles, to appeal to a wide range of cannabis consumers.”
Burb isn’t just about bud either. The flagship store also boasts a showroom dedicated to the company’s iconic range of streetwear and accessories.
Good to know
Customers are obviously important but talking to the people behind Burb the one word that comes out time and again is “community.” As a result, don’t be surprised to see Burb’s reach extend far beyond the confines of their Coquitlam store.
Alongside its stores and online presence, Burb is also taking an active role in cannabis events and has even launched its own editorially driven podcast. “Light Culture” is hosted by David Hershkovits, co-founder and publisher of PAPER Magazine and explores the budding industry with guest appearances from some of the most acclaimed voices in the cannabis community.