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The 3 Year Learning Curve of Jamie Perino & Euflora

By Rob Meagher

Jamie Perino grew up in the red state of Wyoming in a household with conservative family values. After high school, she attended the University of Wyoming and graduated with a degree in psychology and sociology in 1999. After her undergraduate work, she headed south to pursue a graduate degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Like many of us, she found a career path she enjoyed and moved in a different direction.

She helped build and grow Diamond Spas, an upscale kitchen and bath firm, from a start-up to a 20-plus person operation. She began in operations and eventually moved into sales and national accounts until the market for custom design and build slowed following the home mortgage debacle and the subsequent recession.

Around 2012, Jamie was introduced to Pepe Breton who was involved in the medical marijuana industry. He, Jamie and a friend decided to raise money to start a recreational marijuana business, as full legalization in 2014 was on the horizon. Jaime, who had no kids and was single, decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up and decided to go all-in. She cashed in her 401k and retirement fund, and began looking for a location to house their facility. The team applied for and subsequently received a recreational dispensary license and launched 16 days before April 20, 2014.

Jamie’s experience in building and remodeling, plus the lack of cannabis knowledge (she had always been a fitness freak as I found out when doing research for this article), both paid off in developing the concept for the Euflora dispensary—now known as the Apple store of pot.

In addition to finding a great location (the team leased a building on the high tourist trafficked 16th Street mall area in Denver), Jamie and her partners wanted to create a clean, bright, uncluttered and welcoming environment for the store much like the custom/modern build and design work she had done over the last decade. Additionally, they wanted to provide educational information for the novice tourist crowd. Since Jamie didn’t really use or know much about marijuana, before deciding to invest her life savings, she spent months visiting medical dispensaries around Denver and learned what she didn’t know. Her research paid off with a unique innovation to serve the tourist crowd in the form of providing iPads on-site that customers could use to learn about and identify the right strain or concentrate or edible for them.

This self-service approach was supplemented by highly trained customer service and budtenders. It was not only innovative, but also created a more efficient staffing model that required less manpower to run the high volume location. The shop generated an annual run rate of over $3.5 million in sales almost out of the gate with 8-12 full-time employees.

The fast start also allowed the team to pursue licenses in Aurora, since the town had announced that they would be issuing 24 licenses in August 2014, and the Euflora team was awarded two licenses that fall. They opened the first Aurora shop in October 2014 in an old bank building that they purchased and 6 months later opened their second Aurora shop in April 2015.

Cash flow allowed the team to construct the first 7,500s greenhouse grow facility in Denver, which was operational in July 2015.

Jamie wasn’t finished with the Colorado expansion, she personally bought Element in April 2016, adding a retail shop in Boulder and a 15,000 square feet warehouse grow.

During their two years of non-stop expansion, JS Investments LLC, the operating entity, has seen their head count expand to over 75 employees and nearly $15 million in 2016 revenues.

Jamie did a lot of the heavy lifting for Euflora. She literally managed the entire retail operations, from recruiting and staffing to payroll, and product vetting and acquisition to packaging and design she hustled to build and expand the Euflora brand. Meanwhile, Pepe focused on finding expansion sires, the greenhouse and running the grow operation

Euflora Best Practices

On the hiring front, Euflora received numerous inquiries from young candidates (her workforce’s average age is 26). Culling through 25 plus resumes a week and conducting mandated city and state background checks was just the beginning. Onboarding required retail staff product training and knowledge testing, if an employee failed consecutive tests they were let go to ensure that the customer service expertise was always first class.

Euflora currently offers medical insurance to full-time staffers and is contemplating a benefit options in form of a 401k plan or other incentive to award loyal staff.

Because of the conservative values of her family, Jamie didn’t tell her mom when she entered the Cannabis Industry. Little did she know, the same technology that helped differentiate the Euflora brand turned into her Waterloo! Her mom innocently googled her name only to discover that she was a Pot Baron of Colorado!

As an avowed health nut, Jamie stepped in and became one of the shop’s testers, where she gained first hand product knowledge. During this process, the clean living red stater who originally had entered the business for the promise of Green Rush financial returns, learned the benefits of medical marijuana. She expressed the personal passion she now has for the industry and the pride she feels each day as she sees the smiles on her customers faces.

Jamie was an advisor for a recent Maryland retail license winner, Maryland Earthworks in Charles County, and has a minority ownership stake in the new venture. Not only has she learned a great deal in 3 short years in the industry, but she has also ventured out on her own as she continues her new found passion for satisfying customers as her industry footprint expands.

Background Information

Company Name: JS Investments LLC

Year Founded: 2013

Ownership structure/operating entities: Euflora and Elements

Management Team: Jamie Perino and Pepe Brenton

Headquarters: Denver, CO

Website: www.eufloracolorado.com, www.elementsboulder.com

Number of Locations: 3 Euflora/1 Elements Dispensaries, 2 Cultivation sites

Number of Licenses by State: 6 Colorado (Jamie has a minority interest in Maryland EarthWorks)

Industry Segment/Category:  Producer, Retailer

Current Markets/States Served: Colorado

Current Number of employees: 75

Market Strategy/Goal:  To have 6-8 Euflora branded dispensaries throughout select Colorado markets and then to expand the brand and footprint into other states

2015 Revenues: $12 Million

2016 Projected Revenues: $15 Million

Product/Revenue Mix: Varies by location

Denver: 70% Edibles, 20% Flower. 10% Concentrates

Boulder: 15% Edibles, 15% Concentrates, 70% Flower

Expansion Plans: See Above

Financing strategy: Self-Financed by management team and with cash flow from operations to date.

 

 

Rob Meagher

Rob Meagher

Rob Meagher, CBE’s Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief is a 30 year veteran of the media world. His career has spanned from stints representing the Washington Post, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest, Financial World & Corporate Finance to the technology world where he worked at International Data Group and Ziff Davis where he was part of the launch team for The Web Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life, Smart Business and Expedia Travels before starting his own marketing and Publisher’s Representative Firm. He also ran all print and online media sales and marketing for the Society for Human Resource Management before partnering with Forbes and then Fortune to create Special Sections covering a variety of topics. Rob, who started CBE Press in 2014, can be contacted at [email protected]

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