E-commerce friendly website for brand new Toronto pot shop location
Where Cannabis, Community, and Street Art Meet
The Kensary is a brand new cannabis dispensary with locations in the Kensington Market and Little Manila Toronto neighbourhoods. The storefronts have been in the founders’ family for many years, having previously been their father’s grocery store for over forty years. After his retirement, they wanted to do something to honour the integrity of the building and neighbourhood they grew up in, and came up with the idea to create a legal dispensary that would play off the nostalgia of Toronto’s pop culture.
The founder is a Toronto-local real estate lawyer, and former client of Awesome Web Designs. Having already established a relationship, he approached founder Guillermo with the project trusting that he would be able to bring his vision to life. As legal cannabis can be a competitive industry, especially in big cities such as Toronto, founders of The Kensary knew it was incredibly important to launch their business successfully right from the beginning so they prioritized a high quality website that would fit the branding concept they had created.
Creating a website to match a unique branding concept
Why good design matters
Founders of the Kensary had a vision for a detailed branding strategy that was inspired by the City of Toronto’s historical landmarks set to a distinct pop art style of design. Ensuring the design of the website met this concept was important to the core of their business and also to help them stand out amongst other cannabis retailers in the area. Founders of The Kensary’s main concern in starting this project was being able to develop this playful and unique concept while still allowing visitors a user-friendly and informative experience on the website.
Since the history of The Kensary was so important they wanted it to remain integral to the feel of the website while also placing great importance on users being able to navigate to order their favourite cannabis products online, this being especially crucial in the time of Covid when in-store shopping is restricted. Additionally, since cannabis is a restricted industry and there are legal stipulations around the sale of it we needed to create an age verification tool that would ensure visitors are over the age of majority.
A Wordpress website with ecommerce capabilities
Versatility in Executing Diverse Branding
As The Kensary was a brand new business with no existing materials, it gave the Awesome Web Designs team some flexibility in designing the website and writing the copy. We consulted regularly with the founder in order to ensure the design & content matched the branding and spoke to the mission and vision of the business. This was the first time we had worked with a cannabis brand or someone with such a distinct style of branding, so while the website was a little bit outside of our usual style of work it allowed us to think creatively and apply our skills to execute a variety of branding needs.
The website was built on Wordpress, using Dutchie’s system to integrate the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) onto their page with a Shop Now button. Visitors to the site can choose their preferred Kensary location and order cannabis and accessories online for local pickup or shipping. The age verification tool was customized to match The Kensary’s website, and ensures visitors are 19+ to enter. To further highlight the business’s regular activity we also integrated their Instagram feed into a lifestyle page so visitors could see posts from the store and some of the products they retail.
Successful business launch thanks to online retail capabilities
A High Quality Website is the Key to Successful Retail
Overall, this client was extremely satisfied with the outcome of their new website. Since the website was finished before their grand opening The Kensary was able to successfully launch their website with a working e-commerce site in order to get online sales right away. At this time restrictions for retail stores and in-person shopping in Toronto are constantly changing, so having a functional, user-friendly website that people can easily find is absolutely essential. The Kensary cares about their quality of customer service and about their customer’s experience so we made it a priority to ensure they would receive the same experience even online.
The website was built with SEO best practices using Guillermo’s extensive knowledge which will help them perform better on Google search results, and rank higher as traffic to their page grows. We hope to continue a great relationship with this client, and work with them in the future to update this website as needed or partner on future projects.