Another rainy afternoon in New York City, only this time, I had the absolute privilege to go chat with Billy Qirollari, founder of NYC’s first ever THC-infused bake shop, Sweetooth, tucked away in the East Village.
All four walls were covered, floor to ceiling, with hot pink paint. An accent wall featuring wallpaper covered with small unicorns sitting on rainbows, and an LED sign telling us to “Chill out, Babe,” begged you to do just that: chill out. And Sweetooth provides the goods to do so.
Sweetooth, where a New Yorker can enjoy fresh baked cannabis sweets made with ingredients that everyone can pronounce.
What Is Sweetooth?
First opened in September, Sweetooth is aimed at inviting canna-curious and non-smoking individuals to try curated THC-infused baked goods. When asked about the inspiration behind opening the first-ever cannabis bakeshop, Qirollari says, “My partner and I came up with the idea of a space selling high-end gourmet goods for people who don’t smoke – for those who just want to eat edibles but who are tired of packaged goods. They want to have something fresh, but at the same time, they want to have a good time.”
“It’s about quality, really,” states Qirollari. That’s what Sweetooth aims to provide to its customers: a place where you are able to find fresh, high-end, and reliable good-quality edibles.
“Sweetooth has catered work events, birthday parties, and is happy to announce we are booked for our first wedding this summer!”
In order to do so, Sweetooth partners with three local bakeries who provide new infused baked treats including madeleines, vegan macaroons, doughnuts, peanut butter cookies, homemade gummy squares, and even cake pops. There’s new different products each week, ensuring that regulars – and there are plenty – have new treats to try each week.
All of the baked goods are carefully crafted to ensure that each product has the same amount of THC in it: each individual Italian cookie, for example, will have 100mg of THC in it. By ensuring each item has an exact amount of THC, Qirollari and his team can give appropriate recommendations. Someone who smokes a lot can handle a cookie that contains 50mg of THC; however, that amount is far too much for someone who is just getting into cannabis.
Sweetooth Talks Possible Legacy vs. Legal Market Issues
As a brand new cannabis bakeshop in a now-legal-cannabis New York, the legacy versus legal debate is as relevant as ever. With legalization of cannabis in New York comes many caveats in the opening of a legal cannabis dispensary.
Any legal dispensary in New York can only sell New York-grown products, Qirollari notes, and as a result, “It’s not going to be as good as California. A lot of New York growers won’t have the knowledge or years of experience that growers in California or Colorado have; they won’t have the strains, the mothers, the clones that California has.”
“For the everyday consumer it won’t really matter, but for people who take into consideration what they want to smoke, or who are on the hype beast stuff, they won’t touch [New York cannabis]. They’ll keep going to the black market,” says the entrepreneur.
When asked what this means when it comes to Sweetooth, Qirollari thinks there won’t be any competition. “At the end of the day, we’re focused on the experience,” he affirms.
What’s Next for Sweetooth?
“We’re trying to do chef’s classes to teach people how to infuse; we want to help people become more knowledgeable on edibles,” Qirollari explains. With culinary classes in the works and knowledgeable staff on hand, the Sweetooth brand is anticipating growth beyond its current location in the East Village, via both more locations and more events.
"Sweetooth Group is here to inform edible users the proper understanding of micro-dosing so that life can be simpler and more enjoyable."
The brand has already collaborated with a couple other spaces in the city, including a juicery also based in the East Village. In the upcoming months, Sweetooth is catering their first event; something the brand has been working on since their opening. They hope to further tap into the catering market, bringing their sweet treats to weddings, office parties, birthday parties, etc where attendees are over 21, allowing attendees and hosts to enjoy their products without the typical skunk-like smell.
Sweetooth throws invite-only infused tea parties and infused dinners, coming this summer.
Sweetooth’s location in the East Village is the original of the three locations—now adding access to the Upper East Side, West 4th Street, and planning a summer expansion on the Upper West Side! Qirollari thanks his customers for the expansion, telling Honeysuckle that he had one guy who “travels an hour to get our product, so I think why not open a shop near him?”
Qirollari shares that he has multiple regulars trekking from all around the Five Boroughs and beyond for Sweetooth’s sweet treats, and I can see the appeal. My personal favorite product? It’s a tossup between their take on the classic Italian Rainbow Cookie and their homemade orange gummies. I left Sweetooth with a bag full of goodies, and I encourage you to do the same.
For more about Sweetooth, follow @sweetoothonly on Instagram and visit them at SweetoothNYC.com.
A version of this article was originally published in Honeysuckle's 16th print edition. Click here to get your copy now!
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Featured image: Sweetooth's sign above its shop in NYC's East Village (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture