Downtown WB still has its utopia

A glassware store, an old fixture on South Main St.

WILKES-BARRE – Due to the legalization of medical cannabis use in the state, as well as the influx of new cannabis and cannabis products such as Delta 8 and 9 THC, CBD and many other herbal medicines, the need for glassware, among other necessities, has never been was not above.

Fortunately, Utopia, 82 S. Main St., at the intersection of South Main and East Northampton streets, since the 90s provides exactly what it may take to treat many ailments.

The current owner, Bob McCulloch, 43, of Hanlock Creek, was a longtime employee before he took office ten years ago.

“The previous owners, when they wanted to quit the game, they asked a few of their staff, and I was the one who connected and took over,” McCulloch said.

And all went well for many years, until March 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had to close from March and I think until August. We reopened in September, “he said. For small local businesses, this is a rather long dismissal.

McCulloch explained that the customer base of the store is constantly changing and being saved. “The client you have at 18 may be at 28, 38 or 48, but there is a chance that you will lose these people by the time they turn 25, 26, 27 years old. We are used to this cycle and this (pandemic) seems to have broken this cycle. We felt we needed to restart our customer base. ” He further explained that when downtown office workers were moving away and students from the Kings and Wilkes campuses were doing the same, it was a very real struggle that needed to be overcome.

“Downtown is much less blue and yellow, red and gold than I’ve seen in the past,” he said, referring to the colors of the institutions.

However, McCulloch and his staff were able to get some funding through a head-up from the Diamond City Partnership. Although these funds were originally issued as a loan, he was pleased to say: “We have just received a letter that it is simply forgiven.”

Now that the 2022 halfway is looming in the distance, things have definitely started to look up and move in the best direction.

“I wouldn’t say everything is back to normal sales,” McCulloch said. – But as for the store, our main focus was on the safety of employees and customers. So first I went back and did everything myself, and then, you know, when the unemployment was over, then we thought, ‘Well, we wanted our people to be safe, and now they’re out of help.’ ‘

At this point, McCulloch began to return to work his four employees.

He talked about being the father of two children, and how much the return of staff allows not only to fulfill his parenting responsibilities, but also to keep the store running longer, allowing more customers to come who may not have been able to do so due to work schedule or something like that.

“Instead of working from 12 to 6, we could now work from 10 to 8 so that those people who came here before or after work could come,” McCulloch said. “So while the sales are coming back, they’re not quite where they were, the rest of the store’s features were able to come back that way.”

Moving forward, McColac hopes to continue to offer first-class products such as local or national hand-blown glassware, as well as do some more advertising. “Sometimes it seems to us that we need to remind people that we are here,” he said. He suggested one idea he was working on with a local coffee roaster to make a “grab and go” window for local people who are on the road, but the smaller details are still a mystery.

“We consider ourselves more than just a smoking shop, and we really want to expand what we offer,” he said.

Although McCulloch acknowledged that today you can go to almost any store and buy glassware, he urges people not to do so. “We are researching our products. We are a specialty store. So if you are interested, come to us. We will be able to tell you all about the artists. We will be able to tell you about the style of glass blowing on which they tried to create it. And the same with the other products we offer. ”

He also added that his staff is well aware of other plant products.

“If you want to talk to someone about CBD, Delta 9 or Delta 8 and all the different cannabinoids, you can come and talk about it. We are going to give you the best information we can help show you which products will be best for you. ”

Utopia offers only legal herbs and does not sell any tobacco products. They also offer shipping if needed. You can find Utopia on Facebook in the Utopia Glass Shop or Instagram on utopiawb or by calling 570-208-2225. Utopia is open seven days a week from 10.00 to 20.00 Monday to Friday and from 11.00 to 18.00 on weekends.

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