From Pizza To Pot – Grand Rapids Pizzeria Owner Changes Direction
After the pandemic squeeze of restaurants, a local pizzeria owner is starting a new business venture. He's turning from pizza to pot. Exclusive Brands Cannabis' newest store is now open on 29th Street in Grand Rapids.
Davide Uccello and his brother Daniele have owned and operated multiple Flo's Pizzeria locations across West Michigan for years. When the pandemic created new guidelines and orders, Flo's Pizzeria took a major hit. Like many restaurant owners, the brothers went looking for an alternative business opportunity.
Davide Uccello told FOX 17,
"When we started to look at expanding our portfolio, we wanted to find an industry that was an essential business, that would be prosperous through the pandemic."
The brothers began talking with Exclusive Brands Cannabis which already had a location in Ann Arbor. They have now opened locations in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, with more locations in the works. Exclusive Brands Grand Rapids location is now open at 2350 29th Street SE on the South East side of the city. They are serving both medical and recreational customers.
The company employs about 300 people with 40 of them stationed in Grand Rapids. They offer different strengths and prices of medicinal and recreational marijuana. They make and distribute many of the products they sell.
Narmin Jarrous, Chief Development Officer with Exclusive said,
"Whether that means by expanding our locations or, you know, having varying price levels for cannabis, we want to make sure that if someone wants cannabis and needs cannabis, they have access to it."
Exclusive Brands Cannabis grand opening in Grand Rapids is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Their facebook page promotes 40% off throughout the store during the grand opening. They say of their business, "Exclusive is Michigan’s premier, licensed, vertically integrated cannabis company."