Each retail store has its own environment and Altitude, one of Washington State’sstates first retail locations, is no exception. With clear displays of every product currently available in the store it seems like the folks at Altitude went out of their way to provide an open, casual environment arranged in such a way as to allow customers to shop with or without a budtending coach. Customers of every stripe may be surprised by the mainstream quality of the shop; an intentional approach Altitude takes to support the legitimization and normalization of the cannabis industry. A conspicuous lack of anything stereotypical “stoner” in sight makes this shop popular with any consumer.
I caught up with Taunya, store manager, on the phone to ask her how Altitude chooses its product for the shelves. Beyond simply looking at the product for frostiness, color, and density, each sample given to the store is allocated to one or more budtenders for their personal input. They have even gone as far as to create a “Budtender suggestion of the week” that allows a new budtender, each week, to showcase some of his or her favorite cannabis. Quality product is given priority and customers are directed towards the best bud that will suit their particular need.
Budtenders are the backbone of any retail location. That’s why I really appreciated how they were selected at Aaltitude. Taunya informed me that she specifically looks for the right people within her customer base and, since they spend a lot of time with their customers, it is easy to find the right person for the job. When I asked what guarantees customers returning, she immediately credits the budtenders stating: “I specifically look for genuine people.” It is evident that authenticity is something important to the culture of Altitude, they seem to genuinely want to help customers find exactly what they are looking for.… not just the thing that will get them the highest.