Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to one of those brands that’s just a lot of damn fun, but also making impactful change through its work. Superette is a brightly-hued, antithesis of sterile cannabis retail created by Mimi Lam and Drummond Munro (both formerly at Tokyo Smoke). Whether it’s conceptualizing gender-free, organic statement clothing, creating complex, scented candles meant to be paired with your favorite type of cannabis flower or teaming up with local artists to create fun and colorful home goods, Superette is known for its inclusive, fun-loving world of weed and fashion. I’m excited to share more about Superette and one of the founders, Drummond Munro!
Can you tell us a bit about your backstory and how Superette came to be?
Of course. I have been working in retail since I was 14, selling shoes at Nike and over the last 10 years I have been doing retail strategy with some of Canada’s top retail brands on expansion, real estate and concept development. Superette is a manifestation of how we thought about cannabis retail and what we believe cannabis retail can be. Moving from legacy to medical and recreational, the industry started to build this box around cannabis retail and what were considered industry ‘norms,’ which is funny because it’s only been three years since federal legalization. To assume this is the only way to do it never really made any sense to me. Especially if you look at how physical retail has evolved over the last 25 years to avoid being wiped out by e-commerce, many of the principles that were introduced were yet to be adopted by cannabis. Things like merchandising techniques, immersive/experiential retail, organic discovery, the importance of catering to the five senses, etc.
There are so many cannabis companies popping up these days, what approach did you take to make Superette different?
We just created an experience that was wholly and uniquely our own. We wanted to make the cannabis purchasing experience fun and treat it like it is recreational.
There are two main camps of thinking:
- The dispensary side, which is a nod to legacy and really plays up stoner culture.
- The Apple Store, which is simply sleek millwork, glass cases and a ton of iPads.
We wanted to rethink the cannabis retail experience from the ground up and be the leader in pushing the envelope.
Your brand mission of “spreading small moments of delight” is right in line with ours, “flashes of delight.” What does that mean to you as a brand?
We love what we do and that transcends into what the customer sees in store and across all our channels. A cool aesthetic and great customer service is important, but we want to take that a little bit further and surprise and delight our customers on all fronts.
It’s putting thought into all the little things and sparing no expense on detail. We don’t overlook anything and are always looking to make those connections. In each location, we’ve created areas of delight for customers to find. From the pizza phone with a Superette flavor to a claw machine stocked with smoking essentials. We sneak in moments of thoughtfulness in every customer interaction, from chips in their bag or handwritten postcards to celebrate their birthday and even a stoner care package for a customer’s surgery!
We love the fun, technicolor aesthetic of Superette. Where do you find inspiration for your products?
Superette is actually an alternative name for a compact food market, corner store mini-mart and other generic forms of small-box retail. So, we take literal design inspiration from this. The feeling of familiar and nostalgic retail environments spans everything from neighborhood bodegas to newsstand kiosks to retro diners.
You’ve been teaming up with local artists to collab on some really fun home goods. How do you decide who to work with? Any fun future collabs coming up you can share with us?
Supporting our community is ingrained in everything we do, from real estate selection to social initiatives, so it makes sense that this flows into products. Regarding how we decide who to work with, it really seems to be if there are synergies around core values and what we want to put out into the world. We have enough stuff already, so it becomes a question of can we do something thoughtful that people will respond to.
We have an apparel collaboration with 4YE launching this month, which is an entirely reworked collection of vintage pieces. This partnership brings a grassroots perspective with the company’s interpretation of cannabis culture printed on vintage and repurposed apparel for an exclusive collaboration with Superette. As weed culture becomes colonized through legalization, it is important to reclaim the plant and use familiar colloquialisms to continue its legacy roots. It is available starting May 27 on our website.
Let’s talk about the “why” behind Superette. What are the core values you hope to align on with your customers?
Superette started and its goal was to make the cannabis-purchasing experience as enjoyable as consuming it…pretty audacious, I know!
Two of our core values are community and fun. Being kind and compassionate is essential to everything we do. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and want consumers to have fun whenever they interact with the brand online and offline. We’re thankful to have a fantastic Sup community, and customers have been great in supporting our social causes and our regular customers are joining us in volunteering this month!
Can you tell us more about the work you’re doing for your community and Canada’s food insecurity?
Superette is first and foremost a community. It is part of our company’s values to take care of those around us and the planet.
One in eight households are food insecure. This represents 4.4 million people, the largest number recorded in Canadian history. We are committed to nourishing our neighbors in Toronto and Ottawa and work together on a monthly basis with Ottawa Food Bank and Toronto Community Fridges.
Every month, our teams go clean and stock up fridges with more than 250 pounds of fresh produce, masks and hand sanitizers, and personal toiletries. We believe that mutual aid is the only way that we can diminish food insecurity completely and all team members are paid for this volunteer work.
This year, Superette aims to contribute 300 volunteer hours, nourish more than 65,000 individuals through Ottawa Food Bank donations and Toronto community fridges, remove 100 pounds of garbage off community parks, and successfully grow more than 3,000 pounds of broccoli!
We support local small businesses that make up the fabric of our neighborhoods. Last year, we raised more than $10,000 for restaurants through fun activations like our munchies crossword puzzle and a virtual pizza party.
We love your commitment to fighting inequality and injustice. Can you tell us more about the Action Plan that Superette supports?
As we continually reflect upon ourselves and on our privilege to operate in a space with a history of inequality and injustice, the Action Plan’s creation represents our commitment to doing better and being better. We have partnered with organizations across North America that support our Action Plan. Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Cannabis Amnesty and Broccoli Magazine’s Floret Coalition to amplify and educate their causes.
We’ve been disappointed with how pardons/expungements have occurred in Canada. To give you perspective, an estimated 500,000 Canadians currently have a criminal record for cannabis possession. It has been two years since the government launched a program offering Canadians with a criminal record for simple pot possession a fast, free pardon — but only 257 people have been granted one so far.
Our current brand campaign, Legacy to Legal, works in tandem with Cannabis Amnesty and focuses on shining a different light on Canadian legalization; we want to share voices and stories with our global community from a Superette POV.
We have three amazing licensed producer partners BLLRDR, Good Buds and Carmel Cannabis. Five percent of cannabis sales from these three brands are going to Cannabis Amnesty between April 29 to June 7. Superette will be matching their donation as well.
In your dream world, what does Superette look like in the next 10 years?
First stop, bringing Superette into the U.S. market and New York City and then bringing the Superette retail experience into new markets worldwide and supporting cannabis globalization.
Thanks, Drummond! Make sure to follow along with Superette on IG.