Adasmes try to take advantage of burgeoning cannabis market
The owners of a drive-thru eatery in Basom on the Tonawanda Native American Reservation are going from serving scratch-made buttermilk biscuits, sandwiches and baked goods to marijuana-infused treats.
In May, Ryan and Melissa Adasme initially turned Southern-style restaurant BiscuitLife into a nursery selling drive-thru marijuana plants. They recently added edibles to the menu and are now calling the business the Cannabis Bakery and Nursery.
Two reasons drove the decision to change the business model for the married couple, who met almost a decade ago when Ryan was attending graduate school at the University of North Carolina.
First, food and fuel costs skyrocketed so much that they would have had to raise their product prices by about 50%. Ryan said that would have been counter to the reason they opened BiscuitLife, which was to provide original, homemade food that was inexpensive.
Second, on the Tonawanda Reservation, cannabis sales began to take off last year, with about a dozen dispensaries opening in the fall, and then in the winter, another six to eight opened.
Starting a dispensary required a large upfront investment and connection to procuring cannabis – the Adasmes had neither. Ryan said he felt like they were missing out on a big business opportunity.
He spoke to The News as he handed out free samples of edibles while preparing for the official opening of the business. It is open from noon to 8 p.m. Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, selling cupcakes and brownies infused by the Adasmes’ homemade marijuana oil for $25 each, at the drive-thru location on 941 Bloomingdale Road.
“We figured, at this point, it’s a little late to get into dispensaries, so we thought about other creative ways to get involved with cannabis,” he said.
BiscuitLife, which first opened in 2020, closed for the season in November after a second year in business, and then the Adasmes announced that it would not reopen again as the same establishment in the spring.
There is no electricity on the property, so to run BiscuitLife, it took the use of three generators at once, as well as propane tanks to run the fryers. Also, making biscuits from scratch required a trip to North Carolina to get the flour – and avoid “astronomical” freight charges – as well as getting buttermilk from local Amish farms.
With Ryan having a degree in botany, the couple started to think about how they could use what he knows for a different business venture. He got back into working full time as an occupational therapist in November, but quit his job two weeks ago to focus on the edibles.
Ryan, who has 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, said making the marijuana-infused treats feels like BiscuitLife all over again. He and his wife do all the baking and shopping for products. Melissa is now in remission after going through a lengthy struggle with idiopathic intracranial hypertension – a condition that occurs when pressure inside the skull increases for no obvious reason – but she is unable to work a full-time job.
Right now, they’re making “regular strength” edibles and may add an “extra strength” and eventually label the products with more precise milligram amounts, he said.
The business is being run in a trailer and an Amish shed on Ryan’s family’s land on the Tonawanda Reservation.
Some Native American tribes have outlawed the sale of cannabis, and some have worked with retailers on their reservation, while others have been hands off. Ryan said the Tonawanda tribe has taken a laissez-faire approach, opening up the free market for cannabis sales.
Meanwhile, New York just opened the application process for potential cannabis retailers as the Cannabis Control Board establishes regulations for what it is anticipated to be $4 billion industry in the state.
The Adasmes have had many requests to continue making Melissa’s biscuits, but for now, the couple will be focusing on building a viable business in the cannabis industry.
Resurgence stays busy during summer months
Resurgence Brewing Co. has taken the show on the road once again this summer, as part of its Pints in the Park popup series and a new seasonal location at Delaware Park.
The 2022 schedule of selling beer with a mobile trailer at parks throughout Western New York began June 3 in Cazenovia Park. It will continue Friday and Saturday, also at Cazenovia Park.
Resurgence also opened a seasonal beer garden this summer in the Parkside Lodge at Delaware Park as an extension of Pints in the Park. “Resurgence in the Park” launched in June and is open Thursdays through Sundays. Resurgence operates a brewery and taproom at 55 Chicago St.