Community-focused CANVAS announces owner will donate 50 per cent of profits from opening days to local food bank
Their hands may be covered in protective latex for now, but their commitment to deliver a ‘white glove’ experience for customers is unwavering, as CANVAS — the first residential cannabis retailer in Ontario to be solely owned and operated by a woman — announces the opening of a second store just months after arriving on Ontario’s emerging retail cannabis scene.
“From day one, we focused on building for the future and meeting the growing need for cannabis products within Toronto communities,” said CANVAS Founder Helene Vassos, whose new store, CANVAS Mount Dennis, is located at 1285 Weston Road.
The store launches online today at www.canvascannabis.ca, with pick-up of orders available when the brick-and-mortar location opens on Wednesday, May 6. As an opening special, CANVAS is offering a 10 per cent price drop on all products purchased online from May 4-6.
“Our goal has always been to bring a personal touch to the cannabis retail experience,” explained Vassos, whose first store opened in December on the Danforth and has seen exponential month-over-month growth since then.
“Our stores are located in beautiful, thriving neighbourhoods that are undergoing major redevelopment, and whose residents are looking for access to a sophisticated and fresh outlook on the cannabis retail experience,” she said “We relish the opportunity to be a part of this growth moving forward and hope to open one or two additional locations before the end of the year.”
CANVAS is taking the opportunity to plant its roots in its new community immediately, and Vassos has announced that she will donate 50 per cent of all profits from the first three days of operation – May 4-6 – to the community's local food bank.
Though no one could have predicted that an unprecedented global pandemic would become a part of CANVAS’ growth plan, the store is taking every precaution to keep customers safe until Ontarians are safe and restrictions are eased. Like its original location, CANVAS Mount Dennis will adhere to strict COVID-19 preventative measures through online sales and curbside pick-up service only, installing a protective Plexiglas shield at the front entrance for pick-up orders, providing hand sanitizer to customers, and ensuring social distancing through visible markers and signage. Operational hours have been shortened to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.), with staff wearing masks and gloves.
The new location mirrors the original CANVAS Danforth store with its warm hues, natural elements and subtle, stylized elegance, including walls and a ceiling enveloped in real moss. It caters to a varied clientele of all ages and carries a wide selection of cannabis products and accessories, including edibles, oils and topicals.
“We know our customers by name, we engage with them, and we’ve formed strong relationships,” Vassos said, explaining that her staff is focused on helping customers find the best products for their needs. “It has been a wonderful, positive experience that I look forward to replicating in Mount Dennis.”
Following the success of her first store, the timing was right to expand CANVAS, Vassos explained. She credits her accomplishments in good part to an amazing support team that includes a core group of senior staff and family members, and a business model based on employing full-time permanent staff.
“Success is really about believing in your customers, your service and your products. It’s as simple as that,” said Vassos. “You can’t get sidetracked or intimidated by what’s happening around you in this industry – you have to believe in yourself and your skills, and believe that you’ve created something that is of value to the community.”
Vassos is leading the way in the industry by helping to establish standards and procedures through ongoing collaboration with government agencies, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and her colleagues in the retail cannabis industry. She also worked with several vendors on behalf of the industry to facilitate the rapid development of a platform to securely accept online payment for curbside pick-up during the pandemic.
“There are days where we go non-stop, working 12 to 15 hours or longer, but I’m loving this business,” said Vassos. “There’s room for advancement and growth at every level for our team. There isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t wake up thinking ‘I wonder what’s going to happen today’ – and that’s exciting.”
To learn more about CANVAS Mount Dennis and its curated line of cannabis products and accessories, now available for online purchase via CANVAS’s prepaid, ‘Click and Collect’ purchase platform, visit www.canvascannabis.ca.
To schedule an interview with Helene Vassos, please contact:
Gail Bergman or Kendra Titley of Gail Bergman PR
Tel: +1 (905) 886-1340 or +1 (905) 886-3345