After a big year in 2021 with Zushi taking home top honors in the inaugural Zalympix, The Ten Co. is finally opening up shop for themselves.
Monday’s grand opening in Perris was one of the biggest of any dispensary in some time, as shown by the nearly 14,000 Instagram followers only 48 hours after an opening that featured some of the biggest names in the game dropping. The list included Runtz and Doja Pak.
In the current wave of press release-based hype, it was refreshing to see something where the wind in its sail was based on a more authentic kind of enthusiasm — the kind you are able to build by providing elite marijuana.
After holding yourself to a certain standard for so long, the consumer is fascinated with what’s possible. And when it’s time to officially open up shop, they want to see what kind of bar you’ve set for that in comparison to your previous efforts.
So far, it sounds like The Ten Co. Store is living up to the expectations built by Zushi. We caught up with The Ten Co’s founder, Staks, to hear about the journey to getting the doors open. In the end, the process would take about two years.
“What happened was originally it was proposed to me as a licensing agreement for a store using the brand and all that. And I wasn’t really feeling that, sort of, valuable,” Staks told L.A. Weekly, “So I basically ended up going into partnership with my group I’m with now.”
The partnership provides The Ten Co. with a full vertical operation. That means they can grow, distribute and sell cannabis at their own dispensaries or delivery services. While The Ten Co. is driving hype regardless of whether they were a vertical as proven on the rise to this moment, it certainly makes life a bit easier for them.
The partnership provides a lot of cultivation space. Don’t expect a Zushi flood anytime soon.
“I’m running on the same tactical program as Supreme,” Staks said, “I’m trying to keep it as limited as possible. I’m not really trying to blow up the big, big places with Zushi. I already have that in all my other [grow] rooms. And as much as I want to scale up, I don’t want to do it that way.”
Staks further argued that scaling Zushi could mess with the wave it’s already on, and that’s the last thing he wants to do, but it’s what would happen if he was to go too big with it denting its mystique.
We asked Staks what the balancing point is when it comes to the production scale of Zushi. How do they find the magical line in the sand where they don’t leave money on the table while not damaging what Zushi has become? Especially in 2021.
“So I try to limit the product to my clients,” Staks said, as he’s come to grow weary of those big orders. He’s more concerned with building anticipation than any one big sale. “And just constantly build that narrative, there’s not that many, you know? I just kind of keep it limited and never really give anyone too many numbers. So that’s kind of what sustained us because no one has the control of the information really, apart from us.”
But it’s worked. Less than a year since the first Zushi drop at Cookies Melrose, the snowball is rolling down the mountain fast. Staks noted in the last year, everything went crazy. He explained they’d already had the Zushi a few years before everything went off. He argues the weed getting better and a redesign were big factors.
“And what really happened was obviously from getting her dialed in, the quality was getting better,” Staks said, “I think at that time I joined up with my designer Jerry and we kind of decided to rebrand Zushi. That’s when we introduced these two characters; it was just kind of organic.”
The new look certainly helped keep things fresh.
“It kind of just gave this not-so-childish Pokemon approach, where you have to catch them all – it’s got that kind of vibe to it,” Staks said.
You can visit The Ten Co. Store at 480 Harley Knox Blvd., in Perris. They’re open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily.