Wake N Bakery and the Gentrification of the Cannabis Community

 It’s been very hard for me to write this out. Because when a regular person “goes after” an established business, it’s considered jealousy or being a hater. Alas, I am no edible maker, I am simply a cannabis consumer with a pen and a paper. I write this for the locals. The ones pouring their heart and soul into their infused baked goods. I write this for myself. The high ass customer who gets to hear people’s “why”. Why they got into infused goods, who their inspiration was. It’s these stories that inspire my reviews. Deciding to go to Wake N Bakery was more for the trend than for the why, and I’ll get deeper into that a little later.

Before I headed up to Boystown, I googled this quaint café that was causing a controversy. This was after the severe eye roll at the thought of what certain kinds of people can get away with in this city. Really, I thought to myself, this café is sitting unbothered in a trendy neighborhood serving THC infused food? How privileged, I thought to myself, scrolling through the endless pictures of hipsters on couches. Still, I continued looking up the owners, looking for the “why” that would make me excited for their products. I looked up their business license through the city, all active, in good standing. On paper, meaning in blogs and social media, they were all good. Yet, still I had an unsettling feeling.

Then I looked up what they were infusing with. Delta-8 THC, while beneficial in many ways, would hardly get anyone high. Not in the 60ml doses their menu boasts at least. To put it simple, they have muddied the waters of these different cannabinoids so that they can market it as getting you stoned, or “sconed”. A ploy that is typical, albeit sad. Marihuana has been legal in Chicago for about a year now, and this is what our city allows for the cannabis community. It’s sad, but typical. In learning all of this I unfortunately found my why, and that why was money.

You see, I tried very hard to look up the owner. The cheerleader and inspiration story placed in the spotlight by many investors who knew they needed a why. It took me many articles to find absolutely nothing. She is marketed as a single mother of 2 who lost her job. Yet, that story is not only extremely common in the brown and black communities, it’s never admired. I am not impressed by this story. I’m not impressed that she was so quickly and easily able to  find investors, a location, lawyers to help her bypass these laws. I am not impressed. Her story is just another story of privilege, one I’ve read about a thousand times. One that would have the cops knocking on the door of many edible makers I know.

Yet I made it out there, I waited in their line. The so-called “stoner hang out”, where no real stoner would go because you can’t get high off Delta-8. The illegality is implied by all of the obnoxious cash only signs, yet there are no real laws being broken. The prices were about the only thing that was high in the whole cafe. I would warn people to consider that these are similar to CBD prices. Although Delta-8 won’t get the desired high for most, it does have many proven benefits. And while the experience was pleasant enough, I have never in my 30 years been “served” by a middle aged, scowling white man.

Overall, as an experienced cannabis consumer, I would not be revisiting this cafe. It lacked any real warmth to me. I want to buy edibles from people who care about the issues affecting the cannabis community. I want to buy edibles from people who, like me, have been harassed by the police before it was legal. The people who know this isn’t just a way to make money or a trend, moreso, a lifestyle. A way of living for many people who still feel the aftermath from when it was illegal. I want to buy edibles from people who knew they could make money faster from selling flower, but still stuck it out because they love food and the process of infusing it. I want to buy edibles from people with a real “why” not just a regurgitated story. 

The truffles were yummy and so was the pistachio latte, yet the food didn’t quite settle into my stomach. Not when so many amazing edible makers still have to hide in the shadows. Cannabis is so much a part of my lifestyle that supporting Wake N Bakery would go against my very belief to support local, passionate edible makers. I am fully committed to not only support these, but to also buy weed from brown and black vendors. Because they are in this struggle with me. A struggle that has nothing to do with Soy milk, or one white single mother. This is a struggle that was bred in our hoods and is now being taken and repackaged as Starbucks’ quirky cousin. Make your own decisions on who to support, I have already made mine.

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  1. anel0202

    Powerful 💪 well said! 🙌

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