MI: What is your name and job title? Where are you from?
RS:My name is Rochelle Stemmer and my job title will be CEO of Natural Cannabuzz Shop, LLC. I’m originally from Hamilton Square, New Jersey and I’m a property manager at the moment.
MI: Tell me about Natural Cannabuzz Shop, LLC. What makes the company so unique?
RS: Cannabuzz Shop, LLC is a micro business owned only by myself. I have a niece that has special needs and most of my family has a background in the medical field. So, we’re geared toward helping people with all kinds of disabilities they might have. We’re not a medical dispensary; we will be a recreational dispensary. The challenging part is finding the real estate.
MI: What motivated you to get started in this industry?
RS: I used to be the director at a facility where I employed people with developmental disabilities. I guess it has something to do with my family and how we believe that cannabis can help with medical ailments. It’s not about any one individual person. It’s knowing what cannabis can do to help people. I realized that the way I wanted to make a difference aligned with the where the industry was heading. Plus, that’s where the money is.
But it’s not just about the money; it’s about doing something different and making a difference. My main goal in the cannabis industry will be to employ more people with developmental and physical disabilities, as well as veterans. I guess you could say that’s what my mission is; to help communities, no matter what they are.
MI: That’s amazing. Is there something you struggle with as an entrepreneur & business owner?
RS: Absolutely not, because I have such a broad background experience in so many different areas. Everything from operating multiple retails stores at once (including small stores and large department stores) to managing up to 38 employees at one time.
I’ve always worked in different industries like Ekerd Pharmacy and CVS pharmacies as a manager. I’ve also got all of my property management experience, and a lot of office experience. I’m really good at all of that office and paperwork stuff. When I was fresh out of high school, I worked with the State of New Jersey in their acholic and drug abuse programs as well as the AIDS division. I’ve also worked with Motor V ehicles.
I’ve definitely done my fair share of shopping around and getting leads and I am so ready to get the ball rolling. I think if there was something I was having trouble with, it would be that I’ve tackled everything on my own. It’s just me and it can be a lot sometimes.
I’m going to give a lot of credit to Paul, to you and the Plan Writers. You guys were so patient with me. You helped me so much with giving me pointers and, like I said, I didn’t get one thing wrong on my application. The Plan Writers gave me the time and patience I needed to get things right and I will absolutely refer others to the Plan Writers.
I will tell you that I have had some pretty bad experiences in the last six to seven months, especially in New Jersey. There are other business plan writing services and people that were NASTY. They would say things like “You’re going to need this much”, and “You’re not here yet”. It wasn’t until I talked to Plan Writers, where you guys actually believed in me and really helped me.
Other people out there are gaugers, simply because that’s their sales pitch. They try to make you believe that you need them. Well, I’m strong enough and smart enough to know that I can do it myself.
My whole process with the Plan Writers has been awesome. I’ve had people ask me about who I’ve used and they’ve all been so proud of the work the Plan Writers did. They go “Why did you choose them? They’re in California.” You want to know why? I’ll tell you why. They’ve been in the industry way longer than the state of New Jersey. You guys know your shit. The Plan Writers have experience and have been doing it way longer. These others guys wanted to charge thousands of dollars more that what the Plan Writers were charging.
Everyone on the Plan Writers team were personable and I enjoyed all of my conversations on the phone. Everyone was nothing but professional. I never felt like you guys wanted to just take my money. Throughout the entire process, I never felt like I had made the wrong choice or doubted my decision. Like I said...I never got one thing wrong on my application. The works speaks for itself.
Rochelle Stemmer Founder and CEO
MI: What advice would you give first-time entrepreneurs?
RS: I’ve had people say to me, “Why are you making all these calls. Why are you looking into this? You don’t even have your license yet.” What I recommend is (and this is what I tell everyone) that’s exactly what you need to start. You need to do all of that stuff before you get your license because there’s so much other stuff you need to do once you get your license. And then on top of that, once you do get approved,
it’ll be too much. It took me about six to seven months to get everything together. Mind you, I’m working full-time, so it took me a little longer than an average person would take. Something that took me six to seven months, someone with a team might be able to get it done in about three months.
I would recommend filling everything out 100%. And then just start going to cannabis expos; start meeting people and start marketing yourself. You’ve got to do all of that, and once that’s done, you start calling everyone and get everyone lined up so that when you get your license, you can start tying up the loose ends. You’ll find that once you start reaching out to people and making those connections, other like-minded entrepreneurs and people in the cannabis industry will help you. But you have to be a people person.
So many people give up before they get to the end point. They give up because it’s too hard. I had already invested $20,000 before I got my license. That’s why you need to be in 100% and give it your all. Don’t let people knock you down. You need to start being active from day one, as soon as you decide that this is what you want to do.
That’s always been a part of my experience, especially when I worked in marketing. It’s challenging for a lot of people. So, the biggest thing I would tell somebody is that you have to believe in yourself. You have to stick to it and just do it. And when your license comes, that’s less stuff that you have to do.
When people say things like “Wow! You’re doing this all by yourself?”, I always respond with a strong, “Y up!”
MI: Do you have a favorite strain?
RS: Now listen to me. Here’s the thing; I do not smoke at all. I don’t smoke, but everyone I know does. It’s not because I don’t want to try it or don’t like it. The fact that I don’t smoke doesn’t mean anything because I know what it can do to help people. I don’t even take anything but Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I’m just not the kind of person who takes any kind of prescription at all. I’m just weird like that.
After graduating from Steinart High School in Trenton, New Jersey, and obtaining certification for business-related course accomplishments and exceeding business goals, Rochelle Stemmer jumped headfirst into several managerial roles, including Managing Director with The Daily Plan It, Property Manager with Allaboard Storage, Randstad Staff Agency, Snapbox Self Storage, Dutchtown Manor Apartments, Life Storage , and the Villa Jardine Town Homes/Allaboard Storage, Leasing Consultant with Dinardo Property & Inspections Superv. Management & Real Estate, and Store Manager/Multi Department Manager with several retail chains, including Artsy Abode/Steinmart/Bealls/Jones Apparel/Ross/Sunglass Hut.
On top of her current role as Property Manager with RHP Properties, and in addition to managing day-to- day operations and other managerial responsibilities, Rochelle Stemmer successfully organized and led a team of 38 employees, while ensuring all hires were properly trained. As an owner of three businesses, an active member of six marketing organizations, and a previous holder of a New Jersey & Florida Notary Certification, Rochelle’s workplace knowledge and experience spans across multiple markets and is second to none. She has made it her mission to give back to the community by providing work opportunities and support for people with developmental disabilities.
Rochelle Stemmer’s experience working directly with individuals with developmental disabilities stems from her own personal experience with her niece, who is in need of continual care. Rochelle saw the numerous benefits that were provided by cannabis and cannabis products and decided to take the plunge into the industry. She recognized the demand for a reliable, trustworthy, and comfortable shopping experience for cannabis consumers and patients, which led to the creation of Natural Cannabuzz.
Part of the Company’s mission is to be to help people with medical needs, while also catering to recreational markets. As a diverse, self-taught, and successful entrepreneur, Rochelle aims to employ individuals with developmental disabilities in several avenues of business operations. The Company’s management team will be made more robust with the addition of Rochelle’s family, who are mostly employed as nurses and pharmacy doctors. Through her caring and compassionate nature, as well as her experience as a Director of Operations at a developmental disability facility, Rochelle Stemmer will be able to lead the Natural Canna Buzz Shop, LLC management team and employees to a profitable and successful future, while keeping consumers and patients abreast of any changes in the cannabis industry.