The Brooklyn couple might not, upon first glance, strike a visitor to the pop-up event they executed in SoHo in November as a pair who specialize in shipping artisanal CBD products to homes across America. Karina and Feliks Gurevich launched BakedBazaar.com in August of 2019, an online portal for an eclectic array of intriguing CBD edibles, such as CBD laced cupcakes in jars and CBD-infused macaroni and cheese, along with many other CBD-kissed food-related items. Think an Etsy for people who make and want to buy CBD-infused edibles and products.
The Gurevichs’ began the online business after they realized they shared a lack of appreciation for hemp’s natural flavor. “We wanted to use CBD, but we didn’t like the taste,” Feliks told me. “We tried a couple of tinctures, but if you don’t like the way it tastes, it’s hard to hold it in your mouth for a full minute.” He and his wife found that certain edibles made CBD pleasing enough to help them get the amount down that they wanted to ingest. “We can have a brownie or a water or some gummies and get the dosage that we need. It’s inconspicuous, no one even knows I’m taking CBD.”
Feliks brings with him experience from working as a technical architect at Goldbelly (a website that is similar to his own, but where people can purchase non-CBD food items), so working in the food industry was a familiar place.
“When we launched, we were kind of unsure about how we would be able to drive traffic to our website because of all the competition,” he explained. “We would email big companies to get their products on our website and many of them didn’t respond.”
Over the weeks that followed, the couple realized that premium artisanal products handmade by craftsmen and women were the ones that worked best on the site. “They care about their product,” Feliks explained. “They want it out there.” The businesses the site partners with, Feliks explained, are excited to share their presence on BakedBazaar.com with their own followers, which helps drive traffic to the site. It’s pleasantly symbiotic.
Today, the website features 30 items, and though the site is based in Brooklyn, goods are being mailed off to customers in California, Florida, and everywhere in between. “Because the products contain CBD, they can be shipped legally across the country,” Karina told me.
The duo is selective in bringing on new products. “We try everything that is sent to us and decide based on many factors if it will be included on the site,” Feliks said. Some of those deciding points, Feliks explained, are marketability, how well the products work with the others on the site and how the products make them feel, both physically and emotionally. “We exclude some companies because we aren’t comfortable selling products that we aren’t 100% sure it works,” he added.
The Baked Bazaar
Their pop-up event was outfitted with Instagrammable backdrops, such as a pink telephone booth full of CBD’d kombucha in pretty bottles, neon signage, multi-tiered colorful CBD snack samples (such as Paryani’s Pumpkin bonbons, an exclusive partnership for the site), and large balloon displays. One couldn’t help but notice all the many, many things out there that people are putting CBD into.
“I bought a bag of the (chocolate) almonds,” a young man named Steve told me.
At a table in the back, Alex and Zach, two friends who’d wandered in to see what the pop-up event was all about, sat sipping a couple of CBD-infused coffees. “It’s actually pretty good,” Zach shared. “It’s smooth, too.” Though they’d both tried gummies before, this was their first cup of hot, caffeinated CBD.
Another local visitor and New York City resident named Ron said it was his first time ever seeing CBD products. “I’m just kind of curious about the ingredients they are using,” he said. “It’s something that is new and different.”
In addition to the aforementioned cupcakes-in-jars (which I’ve tried and are truly delicious), and the macaroni and cheese, the shop also featured coffees, teas, magic bars, cookies, tinctures, pet chews, olive oil, and some lotions and topical products as well. Larger name CBD brands were also represented—Wana gummies (the only gummy on the couple’s website), a pectin vs. gelatin based product, offered samples of their vegan-approved blood orange, mango, and yuzu flavored chews, and CocoCanna’s delicious smelling lotion was available for roving onlookers to take a whiff of. “The lotion smells incredible,” Feliks said. “You can’t smell it online. You have to go by a picture of the packaging,” he elaborated.
This was the main impetus behind their weekend long pop-up. “We’ve had hundreds of people who’ve come in and tried our products,” Karina said. “Bailey’s pet products, we completely sold out of,” the couple shared.
The event featured CBD massages, free samples of almost all their products, and, to top it all off, one lucky person who entered a drawing to win a box full of $500 dollars worth of the site’s products was selected via Instagram Live at the end of the weekend. It was an especially nice treat, because CBD products aren’t cheap. For example, cupcakes in jars run about $21 per item. “Edibles are a luxury,” Feliks explained, “and we work with artisans who make premium, handcrafted products, so the prices reflect that.” However, he says lowering the price point is something he is continually working with brands on.
After being open for the weekend of November 8 through 11, the event drew to a close on Sunday evening. Feliks and Karina seemed pleased with the outcome of their efforts.
“Everyone who tried our product said, ‘Wow, that’s so good’,” Feliks shared. “The pop-up shop gives us a chance to interact with people. That’s what we wanted to accomplish.”
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