When planning the inaugural Common Citizen store in Flint, we heard the people here were friendly. But with the hard times they’ve endured, we wouldn’t have been surprised by a wait-and-see attitude about this newfangled, newly legal store coming into their community.
But the warm welcome started from the very first day.
“We had folks come in, look around, and ask a lot of questions. A lot of those people are regular customers now,” an employee told us.
For a lot of Flint residents, our Common Citizen location has been a big help, providing relief for conditions they couldn’t readily get treatment for previously.
“We’re glad you’re here,” says one of our regulars. She’s just one of the many people who come in, talks about their pains and their needs, gets advice on the proper products – or sometimes just comes in to chat.
“One lady comes in and brings us apples and veggies from her garden. How sweet is that?” says one of the staff.
Business was slow at first, while folks would come in to see exactly what the store was and how everything worked. What they found was a store that was unintimidating, staffed with friendly, trained budtenders who don’t just give rehearsed sales pitches about the latest strains, but ask about your specific needs, and suggest options for each individual’s specific condition.
These days, anywhere from 40–100 customers a day roll in from all around Michigan, either restocking their usual, or talking to us about new ailments or needs and what might help. When talking to the staff, there’s a palpable sense of gratitude and happiness. “I used to work in retail, and you see a lot of humanity’s bad side there,” says one employee. ‘To hear people’s stories, and to be able to help them through the day – it’s so rewarding.”
While the stores in Battle Creek and Detroit will have the same friendly, casual vibe staffed with knowledgeable, local employees, the Flint store has given those locations valuable learning on how to serve customers even better and more efficiently.