We had the good fortune of connecting with Kashka Hopkinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kashka, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I grew up around entrepreneurs and owning my own business was always something I wanted to achieve, I just never knew what industry it would be in. After being in Los Angeles after 6 years, and being in the cannabis business for sometime, I began seeing how the cannabis industry was growing and the possible opportunities. I felt the need to create a product that was more innovative than what was currently in the the industry. It was going to be something relatable, something people could enjoy, and an experience that brought people together. That was how Stoney Slice was born.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets us apart from others is that we are creating a new category of edibles in the cannabis industry by offering consumers a made to order, precisely dosed, gourmet pizza option.
I am most proud of conceptualizing a product that will potentially change the way people consume cannabis.
Starting a successful business is difficult, anyone can tell you that. Starting a business within the cannabis industry as a new comer or a small business comes with an entirely different set of challenges. Although the industry may be booming, it’s still in its infancy with ever changing laws and regulations. This makes growing a brand especially difficult for smaller businesses that lack the access to capital, man power and the general resources to keep up with the larger more established companies. We’re still facing these challenges as we just completed our first year of business, and what we have learned is that with strong branding, a great product and a genuine consumer relationship you will be able to forge a new path.
Since Stoney Slice’s inception I have learned that establishing a solid brand that connects with the consumer and understands their needs allows the business to be recognized. This has allowed opportunities to present themself to help overcome some of those challenges.
The goal is to build a real brand from the ground up. One that represents quality and community, a brand that will ultimately become a household name, a brand that can be a legacy. As a Black American male I want to the world to know that even in an industry where black men and people of color are highly under represented, you can think of new innovate ways to change an industry and be an integral part of the conversation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love to take people from out of town to all the places LA is famous for. From Hollywood Blvd to Olvera Street. It gives them such a sense of awe and excitement to be and around the things we’ve all seen on TV.
Everyone loves a good rooftop and by living in the downtown area for years, I’ve had my fair share of nights out in the city. Whether it’s the Ace Hotel, the Standard, or Perch, it’ll always be a good time with good drinks. There really is nothing more LA than having a night out then heading to your favorite taco truck at 2am. My favorite places to eat since I moved here in 2014 are definitely the underground taco trucks and Mexican food spots.
Of course living in southern California, we have to hit a few beaches. Venice is good for the tourist and art experience while Malibu is great for the breath taking views and cooling off in the water.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The drive of initially wanting to be a business owner definitely comes from seeing my parents be successful entrepreneurs with several business over the years. However, when it came to the cannabis space, I owe a lot to the OUR ACADEMY organization which connects young aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs with mentors within the industry. I was fortunate enough to have the guidance of Ardell Romez over at Old Pal who played an instrumental role in helping me navigate through the ever changing landscape of the cannabis industry.
Mariah Tauger, LA Times