9 Questions With David Yusefzadeh From Cloud Creamery
In conversation with David Yusefzadeh, the mind behind Cloud Creamery.
Today, Cannabis Food Show chats with Founder & CEO of Cloud Creamery, David Yusfzadeh. David dives into the birth of Cloud Creamery, and how he went about building the brand and offering cannabis ice cream to the world.
The cannabis edibles world is expanding day by day. There are a plethora of brands coming out with new edibles and trying their hands on some very interesting flavors and mixtures. One such brand is Cloud Creamery.
Cloud Creamery is a cannabis-infused ice cream brand, made with 100% natural ingredients. Cloud Creamery began when Chef David Yusefzadeh realized he could combine decades of fine-dining experience with his passion for cannabis into America’s favorite dessert: ice-cream. The mission was simple. To offer a thoughtful and delicious alternative to opioids and steroids, while providing only the freshest and best ingredients.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get into the canna-verse?
I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2011. I started taking multiple medications over the course of 6/7 years. All of them were failing within 12 months. I ended up on a drug called Remicade and was taking 400mg every 8 weeks via an infusion. After 2 years on Remicade, I decided to start looking into alternative treatment options as some of my symptoms were starting to come back. Cannabis was the most common option I was hearing and started to look into what was available via dispensaries. I started visiting dispensaries and found that there was very little "food" options available. Everything was full of high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring/flavoring. We saw that as an opportunity to bring real food to the edible market.
What inspired the birth of Cloud Creamery?
Lack of clean food and lack of variety in vehicles in the edible market space.
How did production start? Tell us a bit about your first batch, factory, etc.
We found a space in Framingham, a suburb of Boston, to manufacture a product. It took some time to build out space but we were able to set it up the way we preferred. Some of our first batches were a bit strong. We had some fun R+D sessions.
What were some of the challenges you faced while first gearing up the brand?
Cannabis cultural problems are always a major issue. There are lots of parents and older adults who have a skewed view on cannabis and its consumers. It's difficult to reason with people that don't believe in science and fact. Figuring out how to separate dosage in the packaging was a big challenge. There are state-specific regulations on all fronts including packaging requirements.
What about branding and marketing? Cannabis marketing is very different - how did you go about creating brand awareness for Cloud Creamery?
We started by speaking with the nurses and patients inside the rooms where I was receiving my infusions. They had an amazing insight into common symptoms, medications, various extremes of auto-immune diseases and their treatments. Branding is also very specific however there are unique concepts that exist only in the cannabis industry. For example, when you buy groceries, you get to walk around the entire store at leisure, pick up some food, smell fruit and touch produce. In a dispensary, you have to get in and get out. This is not to take away from armies of wonderful budtenders across the country who take the time and care to walk lots of people through the dispensary process. But I am implying that you cannot hold a cannabis flower when you go shopping. You don't get to look at a shelf and compare multiple ice cream containers against each other. All these items factor into how we choose what to present.
Where do you see the cannabis x food sector in the next 10 years?
We hope to see it in hospitals where patients can choose their own healing regiment that ideally will be plant-based. We're also excited for the younger generations to bring their ideas and use of tech into space. This is the beginning of federal wide regulation.
Retaining talent for the cannabis industry must be tricky. How did you go about finding staff for Cloud Creamery?
Staff is always hard to find but I was fortunate enough to have done business in another setting with my two current partners. We enjoy working together and have strong trust amongst the group. We love chatting with creative and hard-working individuals so as we scale we hope to bring some new big brains to the mix.
What’s one tip you would give someone who is looking to enter the world of edibles?
I would tell them to be patient. Getting answers from your respective governing force takes time. Don't get frustrated.
And lastly, what your choice of cannabis consumption?
I prefer to dab and eat edibles.