Cupcake Royal founder and CEO Jody Hall has good ideas. She started at Starbucks corporate back in 1989 when there were only 55 stores. She stayed on until there were 3,000, leaving to start her Seattle cupcake empire.
“I started a company in 2003, over 14 years ago, the first cupcake bakery outside of Manhattan,” Hall said. “Who would have thought cupcakes would have exploded like they did? I’m not a baker at all, but I’m really good at having an idea and finding people that can help do the things that I don’t know how to do.”
“At the time I knew how to build a retail company,” she said. “I knew how to manage production of a product and I needed a baker. So I hired a baker! Sales were fine. I think we were doing 100 cupcakes a day in our tiny Madrona kitchen that’s smaller than this studio. We were on the cover of the PI right before Valentine’s Day and our sales went from 100 cupcakes a day to a 1,000 a day.”
Using the same business strategy, after marijuana was legalized in our state, Jody started The Goodship, an edibles company that sells marijuana-infused chocolates, cookies and mints. From that came her lecture series Higher Education.
“Everybody is pre-boarded on The Goodship AKA stoned,” she said. “Because you cannot enjoy cannabis in a public space in Washington state and we highly respect that. The notion was to get people to gather, like when you’d smoke pot in your backyard and look up at the heavens and wonder, ‘Is there other life out there?’ And think about those big ideas that we might have had those conversations around.”
“Our first speaker, we worked with the head of machine intelligence at Google, Blaise Agüera y Arcas, who walked us through the notion that they’ve trained computers to be creative,” she said. “We had a MacArthur Genius fellow from Fred Hutchinson, an esteemed doctor, talk about suspended animation and stopping time in the human body while time goes around us. We had the chief astronomer of SETI, Seth Shostak, who’s in the New York Times probably six or seven times a year talking about new planets that are Earth-like, talking about aliens and are they out there. We just had our last Higher Ed on Valentine’s Day and we had a New York Times best-selling author, Christopher Ross, talk about his book called ‘Sex at Dawn’ about the pre-history of human sexuality before the advent of property, religion and all these social constructs.”
The idea is to normalize pot smoking and remove any stigma while creating an intellectual event for thinkers who happen to be pot users.
The beauty of buying pot or an edible at a dispensary is you know exactly how much THC you’re getting. It’s not like the old days when you’d make a pot brownie and have no idea how high you were going to get. This is a good thing, especially for people who have recently come back to weed.
“I call them the ‘Welcome Back Potters,'” Hall said. “The people who might have enjoyed and consumed in their early 20s, but because of career or family or what have you, kind of stepped away from that. We really encourage micro-dosing, our products range from a quarter serving, which is 2.5 milligrams, to a full serving of 10 milligrams. I don’t recommend any new person going straight away into a full serving. For me it’s one pastille, it’s 2.5 milligrams. It feels like a glass of wine. It’s just enough to take the edge off and allow me to be focused and present. I think the way I engage is I’m not distracted, I’m completely listening to every word.”