Opinions seem to be split on the wisdom of friends risking their special bonds by going into business together.
John D. Rockefeller once warned of the fine line, saying: “A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.”
Alfred A. Montapart, author of “The Supreme Philosophy of Man,” had a more positive spin: “All business is built on friendship.”
For Nick Williams, it was a matter of going with his gut instinct. As a Vice President of Supporting Marketing Strategies, he knew that Your CBD Store, located in Edina, needed to fly on the wings that only Kevin Costello could provide.
Hence, Costello became General Manager of a branch under what is considered the largest retailer of Hemp-based domestic products - ranging from the likes of Peppermint Topical Cream to Full Spectrum Vegan Gummy Bears - in the country.
“One of the primary reasons we chose the Twin Cities market is because of our General Manager, Kevin,” said Williams, whose father, Jeff, serves as CEO. “Kevin and I grew up together as best friends and he has been passionate about CBD for many years. We wanted him to be the face of our brand as he is incredibly knowledgeable about the science, the products, and he is also excellent at communicating with our customers.”
The following is a Q&A with the two old friends about their joint venture:
Q: What was the genesis of your branch of Your CBD Store and how did it come into existence?
A: Nick Williams: "My family and I started learning more about CBD in early 2019 and the positive impact it can make on people's lives. My grandma has experienced severe chronic back pain for most of her life and has really struggled to find solutions for relief outside of prescribed pain medications. After trying the Sunflora pain cream, she experienced instant relief and was able to drastically reduce the amount of pain medication she was taking. It was that moment we knew we had an opportunity to help bring relief to many other people.”
Q: How can you best achieve your targeted goal of educating the public about your products, as well as how they are safe and good for overall wellness?
A: Kevin Costello: “Our biggest challenge in the store and industry wide is community education. CBD is new enough, and its landscape is expanding so quickly, that most folks simply aren’t aware of what’s at their disposal with different CBD deliverables. There are also varying levels of understanding in CBD, which can seem simplistic to some and complex to others.”
Q: What was your business strategy behind your store’s appearance?
A: Kevin Costello: “The store reflects who we are as a business and what we offer as a product. We are straightforward, transparent, supportive, and effective. Nothing excessive needed and no nonsense with quality.”
Q: Talk about your current location, and where you hope to be in terms of expansion?
A: Nick Williams: "We successfully opened up our first flagship location in the 50th and France district of Edina. We fell in love with this location and the neighborhood demographics aligned well with our customer base. Our vision is to open multiple stores across the Twin Cities market and be the preferred CBD consultant and provider. We want to increase awareness and partner with our communities."
Q: What impact, if any, has COVID and/or the civil unrest in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd had on your business?
A: Nick Williams: "Like most small businesses today, COVID has been very challenging for our business. Our business model is more of a consultative model in which we like to spend time with our customers personally, learn about their ailments and recommend a personalized regimen to meet their unique needs. We planned to open early March of 2020, however that was delayed when the pandemic hit our country. After a delayed opening and curbside business only, we were set to open our doors. It was then the unfortunate events that led to civil unrest further delayed our opening. However, we are now open and very excited to bring value to our customers."
Q: Anything else you would like the readers to know about Your CBD Store?
A: Nick Williams: "Your CBD Store is the largest brick and mortar CBD provider in the United States. We pride ourselves on the highest quality products, largest CBD portfolio available on the market and best-in-class service and knowledge with Kevin. Please find some time to drop in the store or schedule an appointment with Kevin to learn more about how we can bring relief, a better night's rest, better focus and a healthier lifestyle to your day."
Q: Do you have social media presence?
A: Kevin Costello: We sure do!
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