Mike Tepper was ready for his grand opening of The Gallery & Hemp Life when the world came to a halt. The opening of the gallery and CBD shop was scheduled for March 21st and included live music and a formal ribbon cutting. Suddenly, Mike found himself with an open shop but without the excitement. Mike shares, “This is an essential business, but there’s no one out on the streets.” He is now planning for July 21st Grand Opening from 4 to 7pm and hopes that he will not have to reschedule again.
Currently, the shop has full service CBD, not to be confused with THC. Mike reiterates that this shop is NOT a dispensary. The CBD products stocked at the shop cover a wide range: gummies, lip balms, massage oils, dog treats, patches, drops, and more. His clientele is equally as versatile. Mike educates, “50% of the CBD market are millennials, 30% are Gen X, and we also have some baby boomers but I think that is increasing. They went through the ’60s, they are very open minded.” Mike promises that you do not need to know about CBD before entering the shop, “people come in and know nothing about CBD, then they try it and like it and come back.”
An important part of his business is keeping his prices low but his standards high. “Our stuff is fire!” Mike raves, “we are Kosher Certified which is hard in this industry. It speaks to the quality control. Right now I am giving everyone deals. There are so many crazy prices online.” He shares that he has met many locals on the Ferry Landing side of the island and is working to build a relationship with some business owners, “I’ve been talking to some of the massage therapists about using the CBD oil, and I look forward to meeting local artists to feature in our gallery.”
The Gallery portion of the store is inspired by Mike’s acquaintance, Rita Shulak. Rita has organized the showing of four different artists for the first round at the gallery. Moving forward, Cheryl Ehler is focusing on the artist aspect of The Gallery. Mike plans on having an art show every few months and featuring a variety of artists around San Diego. The shop currently has paintings, jewelry, and sculptures. They plan to add more once the shop is busier.
One of Mike’s favorite CBD products is one Rita uses, a face cream and night serum. “Rita and all her friends were raving about it so I tried using it, it works!” Mike’s excitement is contagious as he rattles off all the benefits he has heard from customers, “it helps people who are over 50 and have issues and also problems millennials are having. CBD helps anxiety and depression which a lot of millennials have talked about and it’s not Valium! I have a client with stage 4 cancer and he says the CBD oil helps him.” Mike sums up, “I’m passionate and I know it works. Which is why I buy the best material and quality control is off the chain! I knew in my heart the business would happen.”