Success Story: Love’s Oven
For Cannabis bakery Love’s Oven, high-quality products and over-compliance with industry regulations are the keys to success. The Denver-based wholesale supplier offers a variety of infused medical and recreational edibles, which are sold through dispensaries and nearly 200 retail locations across the state of Colorado.
According to CEO Peggy Moore, Love’s Oven employs 27 people, including five classically trained pastry chefs. Her sons Josh and Walter Nettles and her younger sister Teresa Walz help her run the company as directors.
Love’s Oven offers a variety of high-quality edibles in both the medical and recreational sectors. Their product line includes an assortment of cookies, crackers, caramels, turtle brownies, and baklava cookie bites.
“Edibles offer a different quality of high,” Moore says, when asked about the advantages of edibles over other methods of using Cannabis. She points out that with smoking, the effects pass relatively quickly. By contrast, a 5-milligram bite of an infused edible can produce effects that might last for five hours. “It’s like having a glass of wine,” Moore says.
For Moore, another point in favor of edibles is that they do not suffer from the stigma attached to smoking.
Quality is king at Love’s Oven. If edibles are like wine, Love’s Oven aspires to give its customers a particularly fine vintage. Their pastry chefs are trained professionals, and their baked goods are top of the line. They also offer variety with regard to Cannabis, using sativa, indica, and hybrid strains in their products.
Asked about the differences between the medical and recreational products, Moore explains that Colorado’s regulations limit the latter to 10-milligram servings, though 10 of these can be individually packaged within a larger childproof container.
“Medical patients are usually regular,” Moore says. She explains that they need more THC because their bodies become accustomed to it. Under Colorado law, Love’s Oven has more leeway to infuse products meant for medical use.
The creative process of generating new products is an ongoing process at Love’s Oven. Moore explains that the wholesale bakery releases two to three new products a month, either to add to their product line or to replace an under-performing item. The pastry chefs, other employees, and customers have all provided ideas for new items.
The bakery is currently developing a vegan line of products with infused coconut oil instead of infused butter, scheduled to be released within the next month or so.
Moore’s own background is in health insurance. She joined the company when it was a small startup serving medical customers only, before Colorado’s legalization of recreational Cannabis. At that time, Love’s Oven was run out of a small kitchen. The founder, a friend of Moore’s, sold her the company in early 2013.
Recreational legalization changed the entire industry landscape precipitously. Moore says that in 2013, Love’s Oven took in about $50,000 in sales. In January of 2014 alone, they took in the same amount.
Moore says her best advice for fellow Cannabis entrepreneurs is to be sure to understand the rules and regulations governing the industry. She explains that Love’s Oven operates within the framework of the law by being over-compliant. A case in point are the individual safety warnings Love’s Oven prints on the packaging of every item they sell. This is purely a Love’s Oven policy, not something required by state law. “It’s not mandated, but we do it to keep children safe,” Moore explains.
All Love’s Oven products are sold with three layers of packaging, including a child-safety container with a clear warning label.
Love’s Oven also takes an active role in policy-making. The company works closely with Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, providing feedback and input to help shape the regulatory landscape. They also operate in accordance with the regulations governing food-production businesses in general, strictly adhering to food safety guidelines. This, too, is an important part of adhering to the regulatory framework.
The future looks promising for Love’s Oven, as the recreational market continues to grow in Colorado. Their product line is constantly evolving, innovating to respond to customer tastes. Moore says that the wholesale bakery is also looking to expand into other states, and even into foreign countries, though they are not ready to release details.