Green Sprouts Cafe and Vapor Lounge is Barrie’s first 19+ cannabis friendly cafe. Although legalization took place last week, cafe owners Chris and Gillian Green say that for now this just means “operations as usual”. They still cannot legally sell any cannabis in their cafe but instead operate as a user friendly “bring your cannabis” environment.
When questioned about whether they expect to see an increase in traffic due to legalization, Gillian Green said she is “curious to see the results”, while Chris Green is hopeful that more people will feel comfortable coming out to events.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Cannabis starts as a sprout…like all plants, it’s just a plant.”[/perfectpullquote]
From opening day in January 2017, the Greens have been on the forefront of their mission to normalize cannabis use. They aim to spread the word on the positive aspects of cannabis including what they have learned about both physical and mental healing capabilities. Will legalization mean the beginning of a new mindset for some people? Chris Green explains a simple perspective they hope their cafe will help establish, “Cannabis starts as a sprout. Coffee starts as a sprout. Like all plants, it’s just a plant.”
Although cannabis consumption is welcomed, it is not required or necessary for guests to enjoy their time. Green Sprouts opens their doors to anyone looking to enjoy a beverage or yummy treat just as they would in any other cafe. The space is specifically designed as “large, clean, bright and open” to set the tone for a happy atmosphere infused with the relaxing aroma of fresh espresso.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “Born and raised here has allowed us to see the growth and progress of our beautiful downtown and to now be a part of that is a happiness difficult to describe.” [/perfectpullquote]
In just under 2 years of business Green Sprouts has received almost 50 5-star reviews. Recurring themes in positive customer feedback include great coffee, welcoming staff and love for all of the unique events hosted at the Cafe. Some regular events at the cafe include lifted yoga, trivia, comedy and Freestyle Fridays. 50% of the proceeds from Trivia Night go toward Barrie Pride and both comedy nights and freestyle Fridays feature local talent. These kinds of events shows that Green Sprouts isn’t only dedicated to promoting a love of cannabis but also a love of community.
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The owners explain a significant source of their inspiration in a statement on their website saying, “It’s the reason we did this. We truly love this city. Born and raised here has allowed us to see the growth and progress of our beautiful downtown and to now be a part of that is a happiness difficult to describe. We hope it shows in our faces when you walk through our door.”
When asked about the type of community they have established so far within their cafe Gillian Green says with a smile “it grows all the time”. For these trail blazers, only time will tell how the legalization will change their business. Is normalization of cannabis use a distant possibility or closer than you think?