Due North Cannabis Co. has become one of the fastest-growing local businesses in Sault Ste. Marie with two locations currently operating in Churchill Plaza and Pine Plaza. Founded by a local father and son duo, Due North prioritizes and promotes local wherever possible.
Three years ago, Robert and John Carroll developed a retail concept focused on serving residents of legal age in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
“We really wanted to develop a concept that was warm and welcoming. A business the Soo could be proud of. We prioritize local talent and materials wherever possible and actively support other local businesses through our Support Local Program.”
“When I was in business school, I wrote a business plan for opening a cannabis retailer. It’s really amazing to see the brand come to life.”
Built by the Soo for the Soo
Carroll and his father opened Due North Cannabis Co. in January 2021 during COVID-19 lockdowns. For the first six months, they were only open for in-store shopping for about 30 days.
“We were very fortunate to make it through that, and then we ended up opening our second location in July of last year.”
Since those rocky first months, they are now full steam ahead, opening a third location on the Second Line East.
“We love Sault Ste Marie. I actually grew up a little farther north in Thunder Bay, but we've been coming to the Soo my whole life, and it really just seemed like the perfect place to focus on our business and build a life,” Carroll said.
He said supporting local Soo businesses was always a priority, even down to the building materials of all three locations, such as locally sourced timber and natural rock features.
“I think people really like what we do because we've created an experience that's welcoming and engaging. We are quickly building a reputation for first-class customer service and product knowledge.”
Due North is an extension of the people behind the brand, and Carroll said it’s important that businesses actively adopt and promote values that they believe in as owners.
“After COVID-19, it's more important than ever that we support local businesses and the community at large. We have a platform where we can generate awareness for others in addition to raising donations for our community.”
They also offer in-store events, classes, and programs to educate customers on the brands behind popular products. Working with local businesses on giveaways and manufacturers on pop-up events, Carroll helps customers connect with the cannabis industry and the local community.
One of their pop-up events was a “paint your own pipe night” hosted by a small business out of Thunder Bay, called Northern Heights Co., that creates artisan pipes and other ceramic items. Just recently, they also hosted a joint-rolling class to help customers learn how to roll their own at home.
The Cannabis Boutique
Due North Co. has a lot on the go. Between supporting local businesses, and running classes on how to roll a joint, they’re working on opening their third location. One Carroll calls a “Boutique Cannabis Cabin.”
“It's the best of our flagship store and the best of our micro store,” he said. “We've learned a lot in the last few years, and we took the best of both and combined it into one experience with a few more learnings that we've picked up along the way.”
This hybrid model offers knowledgeable customer service and an easy way to get in and out using self-guided features like pricing cards, digital menus and express lanes.
For those looking for more of a one-on-one guided experience—he’s also got them covered.
The boutique location will have something for everyone, and they offer in-store pick-up and cannabis delivery.
But what makes them different? Carroll said it’s a combination of things.
“Not only do we engage with our community and our customers, but we have some of the most convenient locations in town, many of the best prices, a loyalty program, and we are actively working with our staff to improve the DNCC experience.”
“Our reviews really tell it all—we are currently the highest rated stores in town, which is truly a testament to our awesome staff.”
Carroll plans for a fourth location in Hamilton later this year.
Check out their new location opening Friday, June third at 710 Second Line East, right across from PetSmart.