The Canadian cannabis industry has been growing at a steadily fast pace ever since it was officially legalized. With such a huge growth its only natural that this market offers great business opportunities, and why there is a growing number of retail CRE investors looking to get in on the action.
It was only recently, Toronto received its first Aegis Brands recreational cannabis store. Aegis and its investors saw Toronto as a fantastic starting point and the first location to further expand into Ontario, which should be no surprise given the market’s growth.
From Coffee to Cannabis Coffee
Aegis Brands, formerly known as Second Cup Ltd., was focused on being a coffee retailer with more than 350 cafes and shops Canada-wide. But recently, the company has suffered some losses in recent years, and thought to find a new approach and take to grow.
With how the retail cannabis market is growing, the company decided to expand beyond coffee and try its hand in the cannabis space. Thus, the name change from Second Cup to Aegis Brands to give rise to a new identity and create a new vision for providing cannabis to consumers.
This new approach sparked the inspiration for the name of the new cannabis dispensaries; being called Hemisphere Cannabis Co. By using the word hemisphere this alludes to the fact they aim to help cannabis consumers, no matter if they’re first-time users or they’ve been shopping for a while; serving the whole breadth or “hemisphere” of potential customers. The environment they aim to create will try to match customers’ desires along with a personalized experience.
Aegis Brands opened its first Toronto cannabis coffee shop using the same location as a previous Second Cup cafe.
Aegis Brands, like many other stores and CRE investors, are finding that providing mixed-use has a lot of value. Instead of taking over the Second Cup, Aegis Brands chose to instead add value at the same location. Shortly after announcing this new vision, they acquired Bridgehead Coffee, a coffeehouse chain with headquarters in Ottawa. But they won’t stop here, they are still looking for mixed-use opportunities in coffee, cannabis and food service spaces.
More Hemisphere Retail Stores To Come
Aegis Brands is getting more serious about investing in retail cannabis within Ontario, as you can see with the new Hemisphere Cannabis Co. stores already in the works to open at a later date.
Currently, the company plans to open up 3 additional in Toronto, as well as establishing a presence in Ottawa, Ajax, and Orleans later down the line. Everyone can expect new locations to open up in the coming months.
The CEO of Aegis Brands, Steven Pelton, stated in a press release recently: “Given our unparalleled access to top-tier real estate assets across the country, and the incredible shared services that Hemisphere will be able to tap into as part of the Aegis network, we truly believe the potential for this brand is limitless.”
Despite the rough patch with Second Cup cafes recently, Aegis Brands seems to be steering to a brighter path to success. The retail cannabis industry in Canada is not done growing and will continue to do so, so Aegis Brands’ new strategy will help keep the company going much longer. Of course, nothing is for certain, but it’s looking like a smart decision at the moment.
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