Since arriving to the 508 neighborhood back in November 2020 amidst one of the most challenging years to open a business, Bud's Goods & Provisions has set the bar superbly high (pun intended) as one of the largest cannabis retail locations in not only the Greater Worcester area, but in the state of Massachusetts.
Now, if you're from the 508, you know the vibes when it comes to medical/recreational dispensaries. It's no secret that the market is boomin' and the city itself is a hot spot for the cannabis industry, as well as for the consumer. Though the industry has made some serious strides from its illegal beginnings and continues to break barriers, yet and still, dispensary owners face numerous challenges and strict guidelines to operate their business on a daily basis.
But that's not what President and CEO, Alex Mazin, wants his "buds" to think about when they enter his shop. That's for him to focus on. Put it this way: Willy Wonka to the Chocolate Factory is Mazin to Bud's. When you walk through those doors at 64 W Boylston Street, his goal is for you to have a unique, fun experience in selecting fire product at an affordable price, all within your neighborhood. I had the opportunity to chat with Alex and learned how his career "bud"-ded from his humble beginnings to making an impact both in the cannabis industry and in the community.
A Worcester native with roots to Doherty High, Mazin always knew he wanted to have a business he could call his own one day. So much so that he took that goal and began his pursuit of it while studying Entrepreneurship at Babson College. After graduating, taking his talents to New York City and putting in work in the commercial side of the healthcare industry, Mazin was ready to take the next step towards making his lifelong dream a reality.
Although it wasn't quite a dispensary, his first venture was conceived with cannabis in mind. "I went to the Apple store one day, got an iPhone and had to get a case for it. The same day, I grabbed a vape and thought "Why don't I have a case for this?" Ergo, VaprCase was born, a brand of silicone accessories designed for the vape industry. From that point on, Mazin's knowledge and experience with cannabis as a business began to expand and was ultimately preparing him to bring his vision to life. Once marijuana was legalized in 2016, Mazin returned to his roots here in Mass. in hopes that the right opportunity would align. Sure enough, it did and led to the conception of Bud's Goods and Provisions.
Whether you're a new kid to the candy store, or a cannabis connoisseur, Bud's has something for you, tailored exactly to your liking. And it all starts with their talented team that is carefully pieced together. Hospitality and customer service are the two important key factors Mazin believes go into sustaining a successful business, especially when the product is designed to yield feel-good vibes. Asking questions such as "With whom/when/where do you plan to consume? Are you consuming during the day or night? Are you looking to get lit at the beach on a Saturday with your friends or just relax and chill?" are just some of what the team at Bud's take into consideration when guiding one to the right product. They strive to cater towards both ends of the consumer spectrum by providing the classic strains such as OG Kush and Grand Daddy Purp while giving a variety of products like "Honey Stix" and Hi5 Infused Seltzers to those who are looking to experiment with something new.
But with so many options in the city, what separates Bud's from everyone else? "Truly our entire retail experience and what we believe that entails" says Mazin. "This includes location/convenience, branding, retail experience, hospitality, menu selection and price. We focus on these five elements of retail each day." Mazin plans to bring that same energy to his two newest locations in Abington (Spring 2021) and Watertown (Fall 2021).
Not only is Bud's striving to stand out to their clientele in good neighborly fashion, but they emphasize on doing the same for fellow local businesses. Their mission is simple: they want to take care of their community in whatever capacity they can and are constantly looking for ways to do so. While Mazin and his team are currently working on an incentive program to help small business owners around the area, they have also committed to collabing with local colleges and universities to educate students on the business side of cannabis while reducing the stigma around the industry. You can learn more about their Plan for Positive Impact here-it's truly awesome stuff and we are excited to watch them continue to flourish while making Worcester proud.
If you haven't visited Bud's (yet), be sure to pop in, try something fire and say hello to a great group of folks that Worcester is lucky to have and that we are lucky to call our neighbors. As always, be sure to tell 'em Food & Convo sent ya!
Photos from Official Instagram of Bud's