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The Fire Station CEO on Sault Ste. Marie’s Eagle Radio

On Tuesday, Dec. 21, The Fire Station’s co-founder and CEO was interviewed by radio host, Tim Ellis, of Eagle Radio in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The topic of the conversation was the grand opening of TFS’s latest retail store in the Soo. Read their conversation or listen in below!

Tim:

Good morning. It is Tim with your rise and shine morning show waking up today with cloudy skies. And yeah, it is the season as we are here officially the first day of the winter solstice first day of winter. And we’ve got some snow coming in, could see anywhere from three to six and even higher of those areas closer to lake superior. We’ll keep you updated all day long, right here with Jim Lee hockey and your true local weather forecast. But good morning to you, welcome to Tuesday.

So anytime a new business comes to town, it makes us excited. And we always want to give a chance here at Eagle radio to help get the word out of new businesses coming and welcome them in, in the best way we can. And that’s why I’m very excited right now to be welcoming in. He is the CEO and founder of the brand new business that will be celebrating a ribbon cutting today. The Fire Station Cannabis Company. I’m very happy, welcoming in Stosh Wasik, who is again, the CEO and founder. Stosh morning to you, sir.

Stosh:

Good morning and thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Tim:

You bet it it’s so great to have you guys on. I know it’s been a, a time coming. We’ve seen the building up there and we’ve seen the the, the business sign and, and it’s out there and, and now it’s happening. So I know it’s been a time coming for you guys, it’s it. It’s gotta be exciting and a relief for you to be opening the doors here.

Stosh:

Yeah, absolutely. This, this store was actually supposed to be open several months ago. And we ended up running into a couple building pickups with with the, the current structure and we had to just put our, put our heads down and, and grind through it. And we’re just super excited to be able to actually be open now.

Tim:

Yeah. So, and, and for the community as well. It’s great to see this business opening and, you know, we always, one thing we, we, we talk a lot about here. Our culture here at Eagle radio is support local, buy local, be local. And in, in whether it’s Michigan made for you guys though, it’s even a little bit closer to home, you guys are up made, you’re a up company originating from where was your first store opened up at Stosh.

Stosh:

Our first door opened in Negaunee, which is just a couple miles up the road from Marquette mm-hmm <affirmative> that I’m born and raised in, in the up. I’ve spent a lot of my time all over Marquette county and I’m just super lucky and grateful to be able to bring the fire station to the zoo as well.

Tim:

So let’s talk about that then, you know, you’re a, a born and bred Yooper and you wanted to keep a, a localized company like that, but Stosh, where was your vision from this? When did you say, you know, this is what I want to do. This is where I want to put my time and effort into, and this is what I wanna make happen.

Stosh:

Honestly, I, I started in the cannabis industry back in 2012 when I was in, in college at Northern Michigan University. I was a senior at Northern Michigan University, and I I, I had the vision to open up a hydroponic store and that’s, that was my first dipping my toe into the water of the, the cannabis world. And I ended up opening up that business. And now it’s in downtown Marquette. It’s been standing for nine years when I was 22 years old and in college to start getting me into the cannabis industry and the natural progression of the industry and my interest in it just, just pushed me into retail cannabis. We were doing equipment. We moved into, into retail cannabis, and it, it just made sense. And we had a lot of support from the local community to be able to, to launch the first one in Negaunee. If you ever, if anybody ever has a moment, feel free to go to our website and take a look at the before and after pictures of the, the building. Cause it definitely went through a pretty big transformation. It was basically abandoned in. And so the, the entire community in Negaunee, everybody used to drive past it and it’s like, oh my God, what, when is this building gonna fall over? And we we’ve completely revitalized it and turned into a landmark.

Tim:

Oh, that’s outstanding. You love to hear stories like that where a local business comes in, puts money into the town and into a building that sounds like was pretty much dilapidated. And then you make it a thriving business.

Stosh:

Yes, absolutely. Dilapidated is an understatement <laugh>.

Tim:

Now, when you said your website, the one I’m on is 9 0 6 as in our area code 9 0 6, fire.com. Is that the website you’re speaking of? 

Stosh:

Yes, that is correct. 

Tim:

So definitely any of our listeners check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. 9 0 0 6, the numbers 9 0 6 fire.com. So the fire station any, any big story behind the name, or how did you come up with that? I always like to beer makers, they always have fun with their names. And so I just always like to, to ask that question.

Stosh:

Yeah. And so there’s somewhat of a history between like naming, naming things in the cannabis. And three, as, as many people may know, a lot of people put some enthusiastic names into strain names and, and so cannabis business names, generally, aren’t our, our one off of that and not too far. We did a, we, we basically sat around a, a dinner table and kept thinking and brainstorming, like, what should we call this? And as many people may of that fire is also a slang term for cannabis. And we don’t wanna say that the, the reason we called it that, but we, we just put together the name and we feel that it was easily brandable. You know, you can walk into our store, you can get that in like fire station feel from the, the helmets and the locker and just the, the whole, the whole idea. And it’s easy to scale and easy to brand. And so I think a lot of people were really excited about the idea of, of coming, or I guess with the name.


Tim:

Yeah, no, it definitely stands out. It’s easy to remember marketing wise. That is very, very smart. Now, as people walk in, of course the ribbon cutting today is at noon. And so that will officially open the doors for you guys. I mean, I mean, I know you’ve been open for a couple days now, but this will officially be the the ceremony to, to welcome you guys to the community, through the chamber of commerce. What can people expect though, when they walk in, what kind of products and services will they can they expect from the fire station?

Stosh:

So at The Fire Station we, we have it above and beyond customer service policy. And it’s something that I I’ve stood for since the beginning and to us, it means more than anything. And so we don’t give good customer service. We don’t give great customer service. We go above and beyond. Then we want every interaction that you ever have with any customer to be memorable. We want to create an experience that you will never forget. Like it’s the small things. It’s the little things that our, our staff can do to ensure that everyone has a unique experience that they never forget. And so that’s the forefront of our company and that’s what we stand behind.

Tim:

I just, I want you to get, keep going where you’re going with that, but I just gotta say, it’s so refreshing to hear that my wife and I have talked about this over the years, you travel around and, and for people who are in marketing and, and small business owners, we know what we expect or what we would like to have, have as an experience and customer service, especially through the pandemic, because we all got stressed out and short staffed, but customer service really started to seem like it was a thing that was falling by the wayside to, so to hear you say that is so refreshing to hear.

Stosh:

Yeah. I mean, I, I think it’s an incredibly important, I mean what is one, what is every business in the world have in common customers? And the most expensive thing is to lose ’em. You wanna make sure that you take care of ’em and you really want to focus on, on how they, how they interact with your brand and how they interact with your staff and make sure that they, they have a memorable and happy experience. You never ever want anybody to leave the store with a sour taste in their mouth. And it’s just actually in our policy that no one’s ever allowed to leave on happy not saying that it doesn’t happen, but the point is like, that’s what we strive for.

Tim:

Yep. Outstanding style. I’ll love to hear it. All right. Please pick up where you were as far as like, once people are in the doors, they’re gonna be greeted with a memorable experience and then as far as products and, and what they can expect with inside.

Stosh:

So we at The Fire Station are a retail only brand. And so we, we are not vertically integrated currently. It’s not something that we haven’t thought about, but right now we’re focusing on setting up retail locations. And so that gives us the ability, instead of carrying our own in-house brands, it gives us the ability to carry any and all brands that we want in the market. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so that gives we, we kind of take a, a very broad stroke when it comes to our product selection. We wanna make sure that we have the biggest and most diverse product selection in the game. And so when you check our menu versus any, versus any other menu, we wanna make sure that we have any product and any, and all product offerings that you can possibly find in the state.

And we’re always searching and doing our due diligence. So bringing new brands on to make sure that our customers have accessibility to this for so long. There’s been marijuana provision prohibition, and no one’s had access to this. And now we want to ensure that when they, when people do have the experience to actually purchase it, it’s like walking into a candy store. Our shelves are full, like we’ve been open for three days and we, we only have about 50% of our inventory in the store. So far, we’re still bringing in truckloads every day to ensure that we have the largest selection possible.

Tim:

And, and then, I mean, you, you made the the reference to a candy store and, you know, you walk in and you see shelves of what your favorite product you get to choose.

Stosh:

Exactly. Yeah. So there’s brands that you are go, that customers are gonna recognize, and they’re gonna be able to, to, to grab that product and depend on that product to be there, to be consistent. And then there’s also gonna be 15 to 30 other brands that they can look at and be like, oh, that’s something I or tried is our educated staff will be able to make recommendations based on what, what you like. And so you’ll be able to, to, to make a, a product selection that might be something new that you tried, that you may even like better than what you used to.

Tim:

Right. Exactly. And today is the day. If, if, if people haven’t had a chance to stop by and see it yet, maybe take your lunch shower with us today from at noon as part of the Sioux area chamber of commerce, the ribbon cutting will be happening today, officially welcoming the fire station, cannabis company to the area, and cutting the ribbon, come on in noon today. We hope to see a lot of people there and I’m looking forward Josh for the first time at that ribbon cutting to, to get a chance to walk through those doors and check it out for the first time. So again, he is the CEO and founder of the fire station, cannabis company. They are in the old family video building. You can’t miss it. It’s right on the business spur. His name is Stosh Wasik first of all, thank you for investing in the community. Welcome as a fellow Yooper to the area as well. And looking forward to getting its at the building today.

Stosh:

Yeah. Thanks so much for having me and I cannot express my gratitude and how grateful I am to be welcomed this warmly into the community. And I can’t wait to see everyone’s faces and really do something big here.

Tim:

Yeah. Outstanding Stosh looking forward to it. He is again, the CEO and founder of The Fire Station Cannabis Company, Stosh Wasik, the official ribbon cutting is today at noon. We hope to see a lot of people there. 

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