The Novel Tree – Bellevue, WA
Grown from the seed of an idea to create a cannabis café in the Pacific Northwest, The Novel Tree in Bellevue, Washington has blossomed into a booming recreational and medical cannabis shop catering to the needs of the Greater Seattle Area’s East side. In fact, Founder Allie McAboy says this was the only shop in the state offering patients a standalone medical facility with a private consolation room and shielded booths, where patients can discuss their needs with product specialists in a more private manner. The recreational side of this shop does not lack, either. Designed and built mainly by the family that makes up The Novel Tree, it’s “a good thing Chris (McAboy’s co-founder and husband) comes from a family of very handy men,” she says with excitement. This is a shop I could find myself spending time in just browsing, with plenty of wood, PNW-themed artwork, and amazing forest themed display boxes showing off its product.
It’s refreshing to feel welcomed when walking into a shop selling a product often stigmatized in a professional city like Bellevue. However, the warmth of greeting one gets while walking into The Novel Tree is only matched by the warm buzz that their products induce. With a background in hospitality and customer service, specifically in Bellevue, McAboy knows what her customers want as well as how to give it to them. From the moment you walk in the door, you are greeted and directed to the next available budtender, who will spend the time with you to find the exact product you are looking for.
You might have been wondering what makes a recreational cannabis shop different from a medical cannabis shop; the product is the same. Product Manager Jeff Acres told me that the difference — at least in The Novel Tree’s case — is that they work closely with their partners and require the signing of an affidavit to ensure that the producers and processors are meeting OMRI-certified integrated pesticide management practices. This benefit bleeds into the recreational side of the business, as they both carry the same products, ensuring that all customers of The Novel Tree are getting high-quality products for their hard-earned cash.