A Conversation with CEO Louis Sagar
Deep within the heart of the East Village in New York City lies The Alchemist’s Kitchen, a dispensary that provides the community with herbal medicine and education in a beautiful and welcoming space. A wide array of products from highly vetted brands includes sacred plants and herbal elixirs.
The Alchemist’s Kitchen was actually one of the first places in NYC to carry cannabidiol (CBD). In fact, they have their own CBD brand called Plant Alchemy.
The dispensary is staffed by trained herbalists and offers classes, workshops, and consultations on herbal medicine. It is also part of Evolver, which offers online learning, They also founded The Bowery Cannabis Club, a community and educational organization.
We recently spoke with Louis Sagar, CEO, to learn more.
CBDH&W: What was your inspiration in founding The Alchemist’s Kitchen?
LS: My career prior to The Alchemist’s Kitchen was in specialty lifestyle retailing… Three-and-half/four years ago now, I was recruited by Evolver Corp, which is our parent company of which I’m CEO, to create a scale-able brand that could service a broad constituency of consumers seeking education and modalities that would enhance personal growth. I created The Alchemist’s Kitchen… to celebrate the power of plants.
Parallel with [the opening of The Alchemist’s Kitchen] was recognition on my part that cannabis [was] really the first sacred plant to find decriminalization and legalization. What a concept that we could move cannabis from being a gateway to hard drugs and heroin to a gateway to plant-based health! And certainly the advent of CBD has allowed us to popularize this plant in a way that, with education, it can likely provide benefits for anxiety, stress, and inflammation. We didn’t want CBD to be on the shelf, we wanted you to have a conversation with a qualified retail staff associate or an herbalist so that we could establish a trust base with the consumer.
CBDH&W: What makes your dispensary different from other retailers selling CBD?
LS: [Our] mission is [to use] education, which in the cannabis industry is still woefully underdeveloped in direct-to-consumer retailing. We are trying to emulate the gold standard in retailing. That gold standard starts with education. It continues with assuring the customer that products have been 3rd-party tested, so they can be comforted that there are no impurities, they can be relieved that we’re following as much of the regulatory standards that one would want, and then were educating to dosage, which is very misunderstood. That focus has elevated our brand at least within the cannabis industry as a place that is very respected across the country.
We know that if we can educate the acupuncturist, the chiropractor, the veterinarian, the Reiki master, the nutritionist, the fitness trainer who have clientele that increasing are asking them about plant-based remedies, particularly CBD… that builds another opportunity for distribution through trust agents.
CBDH&W: What is your opinion on NYC’s recent ban on CBD food and drink?
LS: We’re in support of the ban in the sense that we don’t what to see consumers exposed to CBD… that’s not been well documented [as to] where that [CBD is] coming from. We do think that the FDA [has to provide] some regulatory [guidance]. We sell water-soluble CBD that you can infuse into your own beverage. You can know it’s 3rd-party tested and is exactly what you expect it to be. [This] mitigates the risk for the consumer.
We thank Lou for his insights on plant-based health and East Coast CBD policies.
To learn more about The Alchemist’s Kitchen, the products they carry, and classes available, please visit: https://www.thealchemistskitchen.com/