If you’ve taken a minute to Google the name HyperWolf you know that there’s more than meets the eye.
Adapted from Hall of Flowers
You’ve likely seen the striking yellow HyperWolf billboards with bold black text if you’ve been on the road in California recently; information is purposefully limited in favor of a minimalist design and the spirit of discovery.
What is HyperWolf?
HyperWolf is the product of two high-school friends from Riverside County, CA reconnecting through the vape and smoke shop industries and setting their sights on the promise of the emerging cannabis industry.
Jake, a first-generation immigrant who started working 40+ hour weeks for Verizon corporate at just 17 years old, began taking a variety of cannabis business courses at local universities at age 22 and was ready to open his first dispensary in Riverside by the time he was 24. However, his father was going through serious health issues at the time and Jake was forced to put his dreams on hold and step into the family smoke shop business.
This sidestep gave him more experience in working for himself. When a familiar face, his longtime friend Nick, came into the shop to display his new vape venture, Jake was intrigued. It was not long before the two began discussing a future business together. With focus, their discussions became the groundwork for HyperWolf.
HyperWolf: The Early Stages
HyperWolf started as a delivery service because that’s the business model the young entrepreneurs knew best. In the early days, when Jake was still working at his family’s shop, he realized that the average customer was coming in just to buy blunt wraps, papers or lighters – items likely meant to aid in the enjoyment of cannabis. Being the consummate customer service professional that he is to this day, Jake began asking his customers how he could further support their purchases. He quickly became their accessory supplier through the store and their cannabis supplier through the parking lot. Nick knew that this smoke shop was not growing its customer base through traditional means and wanted to get help. Together, Jake and Nick worked to grow their consumer base by hundreds, employing five employees (all of whom still work for the company to this day) and a proof of concept for their burgeoning business.
Jake had previously opened his first dispensary in a “crash landing zone” near the airport base in Riverside because it negated the need for a city business license. “Essentially, if you were brave enough to accept the risks of opening a business in the area, you were welcome to do so,” explains Jake. Despite the regulations, it took less than six months of operation for his landlord to shut him down out of fear of the IRS seizing the property. This left him without a shop and without any savings, but never without hope.
Given his experience with physical spaces and a general understanding of consumer behavior, Jake wasn’t interested in opening a dispensary. Not only were the risks and costs lower with a delivery service, but it played to the consumer’s desire to be catered and delivered to.
“I hate going to stores for anything from clothing to groceries, so why would I go to a dispensary?” he asks. “With delivery, you can get the same items for a better price efficiently and privately.”
The major flaws with delivery tend to present themselves through a lack of customer service and community building. HyperWolf combats the former through their rigorous hiring process. Until recently, Jake and Nick personally trained every representative for two weeks before letting them communicate with customers. The co-owners take pride in knowing that their HyperWolf team is trustworthy, well-educated and authentic. They want their crew to stand out among comparable industries. The duo cultivated a staff of leaders who can explain more than just what is the cheapest, strongest or coolest; people who are excited to wake up every morning and put on their HyperWolf shirt.
While the customer experience is top-tier, HyperWolf ’s stand-out attributes don’t stop there. Hyperwolf is committed not only to uplifting their internal team, but to improving the lives of the cannabis community at large. And while it’s an admirable aspiration, they are quick to point out that it’s not an easy task to support others until you’ve taken care of your own.
“It’s hard for me not to worry and over-think, maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo, but I found that even when I didn’t have to worry about myself anymore, I still found myself worrying for others,” says Jake.
Jake and Nick have set out to bring value to those who really need it: the most deserving communities, individuals and brands.
The initial focus has been on woman-owned, environmentally conscious and socially marginalized businesses, as it’s important to HyperWolf to offer shelf-space, marketing support and supplemental exposure to those in need. Jake and Nick have found that putting businesses with unique brand propositions in front of their customers not only supports the people behind the brand, but creates a more thoughtful cannabis consumer at large.
Moving away from the “Best Bang for Your Buck” & “Weed Snob” archetypes that focus strictly on the product – and a product that could honestly be purchased from a number of other retailers – and price, the Hyperwolf team is committed to offering a product assortment and catering to a consumer who values discovery, equality and sustainability as a part of their cannabis experience.
What’s Next For HyperWolf?
More billboards, a new website, sustainable packaging, county expansion and physical spaces.
Most of our readers have already seen the curious black and yellow billboards across California. Stay tuned for a similar design aesthetic elevated on a regional level, featuring designs from local artists. The first collaboration will be with Talking Trees, featuring artwork from renowned street artist, Bigfoot.
Version three of the new HyperWolf website is on its way which will streamline the delivery process with ID verification and a delivery tracker – think Domino’s Pizza Tracker but for weed.
They’re also working with Didier and the team at LIFE to develop a fully sustainable packaging program for all HyperWolf branded products to ensure that we’re all able to enjoy the offerings of the planet for years to come.
San Francisco, Bakersfield and San Diego are the next counties in line for delivery service from the team and after they’ve established themselves across California you can expect to see more in the way of physical spaces from HyperWolf. But don’t expect your average dispensary.
The boys, who would only consider selling the business to Jeff Bezos, are excited to expand upon what it means to enter a cannabis space and some of the activations on the horizon could include Cold Stone Creamery-style ice cream parlors for infused edibles and the adult-version of your high school lunch experience – elevated Uncrustables.