BY JOE MILLIKEN
The Vermont Journal
January 11, 2024
CHESTER, Vt. –
In September 2023, owners Andi Goldman, Meredith Milliken, and Scott Blair of Down To The Roots Cannabis Retail Store opened their doors with the mission to create a welcoming experience in a knowledgeable, wellness-focused environment with high-quality products for both beginners and legacy consumers.
Located at 7 Pineview Drive in Chester (the former 103 Artisans marketplace art gallery), it is a beautiful, quintessential Vermont barn, featuring a stone fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and barn wood interiors, complemented by unique impressionistic photos by world-renowned artist Angelo Musco, creating a full spectrum, high quality Vermont “destination dispensary” experience.
Down To The Roots offers a wide selection of locally grown, craft cannabis flower, edibles, drinks, tinctures, vapes, capsules, and hash rosin products that contain THC, plus an array of CBD-only products, including pet treats.
In this fast-moving cannabis retail space, Down To The Roots proudly separates themselves from other shops as the first adult-use store in Vermont to offer free, in-person consultation sessions with a registered nurse and Certified Ganjier, Jessilyn Dolan, for those interested in learning more about cannabis or CBD from a medical professional.
Down To The Roots is also the first legal cannabis dispensary anywhere to store their cannabis overnight in a custom Cannatrol system built into their vault and, during the day, to store flower in other Cannatrol systems at their “deli-style bar,” where customers can view the buds as they are selected and weighed.
With these patented, award-winning Cannatrol systems provided by local company Vermont Dry & Cure Technologies, which serves a global clientele, Down To The Roots controls the dew point of their flower during storage to preserve the most important cannabinoids and terpenes.
Testimonials from happy customers are as noteworthy as their store, flower storage, knowledgeable staff, and product offerings. Down To The Roots also offers discounts for Vermont and New Hampshire residents, seniors, veterans, and cannabis medical cardholders, with rotating specials for everyone.
The knowledge and experience of the business partners is impressive, and can be seen in the details throughout their operations. CEO and CFO Andi Goldman has been involved in the legal cannabis industry for nearly a decade as CFO, advisor, and investment fund manager. Directly prior to cannabis, Andi was an institutional lender to “mainstream” healthcare companies. She resides full-time in Ludlow, Vt., with wife and business partner Meredith.
Native Vermonter, COO, and general manager Scott Blair also possesses a wealth of cannabis knowledge, plus significant retail management experience. Scott is a Chester resident and multiple-business owner, including The Southern Pie Café. His many connections with local hemp farmers, CBD producers, and cannabis growers throughout the region has benefitted Down To The Roots. CMO and chief talent officer Meredith Milliken is a cannabis angel investor and former swim coach, personal trainer, and marketing corporate relations manager.
This team and location were not the original plan. Andi, Meredith, and fellow Ludlow residents originally tried to convince a majority of Ludlow voters to approval a legal cannabis store in Ludlow for the benefit of their hometown. But that vote failed twice.
“In hindsight, this was actually the best thing that could have happened to us, as it had become clear that we did not have the support of Ludlow’s senior leadership at the time,’” Andi said in a recent interview. “In the meantime, a Facebook commenter posted that people should instead support ‘Scott in Chester.’”
“So, after the disappointing votes, and believing that a high quality, safer alternative to purchase cannabis in the Okemo Valley was more important than our own plans, we located “‘Scott in Chester’” and offered our full support to him.”
Then, after winning the approval of citizens for a Chester cannabis store, Scott, Andi, and Meredith teamed up and joined forces with successful local restaurateur Mark Williams to secure the current property.
After six months of renovations, they hired an already well-educated staff, paid for their training beyond the minimum required by Vermont, and forged additional partnerships with local farmers.
Their store hours are 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. every day (except Wednesday) with extended hours on peak season Fridays. Customers can pre-order products online on their website, with proof-of-age and purchase occurring at pickup.
For more information, call 802-374-0095, or visit www.downtotherootsvt.com
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