A new luxury fashion brand based out of Port Coquitlam has set its sights on the title of the next big streetwear brand inspired by weed. Burb is launching its flagship store today—the internationally celebrated day of cannabis protest—with an open house and the launch of its digital retail portal.
The premium brand will be the first of its kind to establish itself in Port Coquitlam. Right now, the highly curated 3,700-square-foot retail space will offer a selection of luxury wares, accessories, and the company’s exclusive clothing line. After recently securing a multi-store licensing agreement with the provincial government, however, federally-approved cannabis is also set to hit the shelves over the coming months.
“We’re very deliberate about leading with the fashion aspect of our business,” says Burb's cofounder and CEO John Kaye to the Georgia Straight.
The brands aesthetic sticks strictly to minimalist nude tones and a comfy streetwear vibe—a palette Kaye says was inspired by the team’s love of homegrown B.C. cannabis.
“We wanted something warm, earthy, calming,” he says.
And this isn't the standard swag or market march being slung by flower-first brands in the developing Canadian industry as of late. Each item is deliberately designed with the unique needs of a cannabis consumer in mind.
Take the Poco hoodie, for example, which retails for $160 and comes complete with a smell-proof removable roach pouch hidden in front kangaroo pocket.
The 4/20 Bag is another—going beyond the standard reimagined fanny pack to include a combination lock, smell-proof lining, and slots for pre-roll doob tubes. It retails for $220.
The company also promotes what it calls "Light Culture"—a personal motto and the inspiration behind a new educational podcast hosted by the founder of Paper Magazine, David Hershkovits.
“Light culture for us focuses on lighting up your joint, lighting up your life, anything celebrating the power of light. It quite literally relates to the culture of people who support the culture of weed. We want people to know it’s okay to light up,” says Kaye.
The podcast will highlight on conversations with industry experts. In Hershkovits’ first episode, he sits down with New York artist, rapper, and film-maker Fred Braithwaite, better known as Fab 5 Freddy.
“We’re hoping it gives us a platform to talk about culture, politics, stigma,” Kaye adds.
Coming from a background in investment backing, Kaye first pivoted to the cannabis industry a few years ago when he helped develop a federally-licensed testing facility—Norther Vine Labs, since renamed and purchased by Emerald Health. Another co-founder, Clayton Chessa, comes from the cannabis retail space, having previously consulted for several stores in Toronto. And Steve Dowsley rounds off the founding team trio.
Kaye says their latest venture, Burb, is the product of a longtime love of cannabis and Port Coquitlam’s budding community. The company plans on paying homage to its roots—all three founders having grown up in the area—by funding community-based social initiatives, including an annual scholarship at the local high school. The brand's name itself is also a tribute to the city's suburbs.
“Our strategy is not to have a whole bunch of locations. We want to really do what we do well on a small scale, and be quality. We’re focused on really representing Port Coquitlam’s cannabis crowd first,” says Kaye.
Burb is officially open to the public today from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. at its first of two Port Coquitlam locations (1502 Broadway Street).