It was the snow day in February, but we made it to the Washington State Willie’s Reserve facility, located in Seattle, WA.
With a 32k square foot building, the space was huge and included their kitchen, led by chef Allan Abramovitz. Working directly with the Nelsons, and especially close with Annie, wife of Willie and the woman behind the secret recipe for the chocolates, Allan and Annie often collaborate over new concepts in the kitchen. They infuse using the old school method with full plant matter, ground up and in a crock pot, simmered for hours with pure cocoa butter.
The ‘candy lab’ as they like to call it, is where they make their hard candies in addition to the chocolates. Not only is the whole kitchen temp controlled, but we were instructed to put on booties over our shoes, wear lab coats and hair nets (beard nets for the boys, too!). This place was spotless, and they were intending on keeping it that way.
Willie’s Reserve chocolates come in a dark variety only: not only is it healthier, but stays in more of an original format, allowing it to be vegan, since it contains no dairy. Thus, the chocolates created here are Non-GMO, gluten free, vegan and dairy free. With whole plant flower infusion, many people feel the high is a more full body experience that lasts longer than edibles that are made with a distillate or other type of extraction.
After the extraction, they filter out waxes and lipids, making it a purer version. The terpenes they infuse into their cartridges come from True Terpenes and are always organic. Packaging is also all recyclable, as Willie and Annie take being green, very seriously. During the tour Allan explained that even on their personal farm, the Nelson’s always offer water from their well and encourage friends and guests to not use bottled water, their focus is not only on being clean and healthy for their bodies, but for our planet as well.
This is their dream and also their legacy.
The day ended with the staple of it all, the beautiful buds! With a variety of farms being offered through Willie’s Reserve crops, we checked out strains such as Pre-91 Chem and Sherbet. That was another focus that was discussed- although Willie could have used his platform and celebrity status to create a brand to grow cannabis himself, he instead wanted to focus on supporting farmers, the little guys, the smaller operations, that may need help to get their crops to market, just like he has historically with Farm Aid, a nonprofit and concert event that raises awareness and support for farmer families to stay on their farms. It seems that for the Nelson family it is much more than about cannabis or business, it is about people and freedom.
Jared and Vaughn
Find products by Willie’s Reserve such as cannabis flower, pre-rolls and chocolates and candies at all of our locations.
Written By: Masha Brown
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