Inside FIKA, the fancy new cannabis shop inside Union Station
Picture this: it’s the evening rush hour on a Friday and the 5:15 GO Train to Hamilton—with that fun bus transfer in Aldershot—is delayed. It’s been a long week and the couch is calling. Stress levels are peaking.
Fortunately, there’s a convenient new cannabis shop inside Union Station, called FIKA (which roughly translates to “taking a break” in Swedish), where you can purchase flower, pre-rolls, gummies, oils, beverages and more—everything to make unwinding after a nightmarish commute that much easier.
“FIKA is the only cannabis shop in a major transportation hub in the world,” says Christopher Kane, the company’s COO. “There are 300,000 people who pass through here every day. It’s just an amazing location.”
It’s no secret that the cannabis market is oversaturated, with shops seemingly opening and closing every week. But FIKA is in a period of hyper-rapid expansion, having opened 18 locations in Ontario over the past year.
FIKA is trying to separate itself from the dingy pot shop stereotype by offering a first-class shopping experience, with sparkling showcases, a fleet of friendly staff and well-displayed products.
“We wanted to create a very inviting space,” says Kane. “Someplace you could bring your partner, parents or grandparents. Everyone is comfortable in here.”
The company tapped GH+A Studios to design the space, which features herringbone tile, rift-cut oak walls, walnut display cases and Corian countertops, all illuminated beneath gold pendant lights. To further destigmatize the experience, FIKA is ditching old cannabis slang. Customers don’t get high; they get “elevated.” Edibles are called gummies. Want a joint? You can have a pre-roll instead. Feel free to buy some flower—not bud, weed or pot.
Per Ontario law, the inside of a cannabis store can’t be visible from the outside. Typically, stores just have a flat, boring wall. To make the exterior appear a bit more dynamic, the folks at FIKA added a slat wall made from riff-cut oak.
The rectangular section in the middle of the store, otherwise known as the “flower pod,” is where customers can buy their cannabis flower.
Instead of using vanity packaging to display the product, FIKA puts images of the flower beneath a magnifying glass, giving visitors a chance to inspect the buds. The title cards include more than just THC levels: curious customers can learn about the type of strain, tasting notes, price, and levels of THC, CBD and terpenes.
The Express Bar is unique to FIKA’s Union Station location. It’s geared toward customers who want to get in and out in a pinch, whether they’re hopping on a train or heading to an event. So far, the pre-rolls and edibles have been top sellers.
The Tuck Shop is a station for chocolates, gummy candies and drinks—all, of course, infused with varying degrees of CBD and THC.
There are magnifying glasses and title cards here too. Take a closer look:
Capitalizing on the modern obsession with merch, FIKA has a Life Wall where customers can purchase tote bags, tuques, oils, capsules, pipes, bongs, bath bombs, candles, coffee mugs, hot sauce and more.
Here’s a close-up of some of those goods: