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2021 IVC First Place: “Superette” (Food and Beverages/Consumables)

Cannabis dispensary recalls a mom-and-pop convenience store

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AT FIRST GLANCE, you may think you’ve walked into a retro mom-and-pop convenience store upon entering Superette. But don’t let looks fool you – this uniquely merchandised cannabis dispensary features the aesthetic of a traditional neighborhood corner shop supported by a notable visual journey.

To help remove the stigma around cannabis shopping, Superette aimed to create a version of a dispensary with a highly curated menu of accessories and products communicated in a lighthearted and whimsical, yet witty, voice. Amelia Papadakis, Interior Designer, Bergmeyer, explains the brand wanted to move away from the sterile, minimalist design many dispensaries feature.

The customer journey itself is unique, with shoppers asked to choose a basket at the entrance that’s color coded to indicate to staff what degree of assistance may be needed in making a purchase. Repurposed cold-case refrigerators hold merchandise like T-shirts and baseball caps, and a former cold meats case showcases the majority of the cannabis flower products.

One element in particular that caught the judges’ attention was the flower wall, a custom display case made to look like a cut flower cooler that actually houses cannabis samples in votives so shoppers can smell the various aromas. (There’s even a “pizza phone” that connects to a local pizzeria when you pick up the receiver, allowing you to order food before making your exit.)

Designers overcame the obstacle of inhibited sightlines (a byproduct of Toronto’s regulations) by creating a fun and quirky brand wall that features a range of nostalgic CPG-style products made up in the Superette brand that blocks the view into the main dispensary.

“It’s a serious product that they’re selling, but they try not to take themselves too seriously,” says Eric Kuhn, Associate, Design Practice Leader, Bergmeyer. “It’s not a jewelry store, it’s not a high-end electronics store, it’s a cannabis shop. It’s the antithesis of what you see often in this category.”

PHOTO GALLERY (9 IMAGES)

Photography: Kayla Rocca Photography, Toronto

Carly Hagedon is the Managing Editor of VMSD magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she studied Journalism—Magazine Writing and American history. She also currently serves as a board member for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

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