BY JON CRONIN
A Glendale coffee maker that adds cannabinoid oils to its products recently announced its contract to distribute to the U.K.
Leighton Knowles, a chef and founder of Flower Power Coffee Co., suffered from anxiety while working in kitchens abroad years ago and used cannabinoid oils, which are non-psychoactive, to relieve stress.
As a chef, Leighton began working the cannabinoid oils (CBD) into his recipes. His own anxiety and love of food led to his creation of Flower Power Coffee Co., which sells coffee grounds and caramels infused with the oils online.
“Everyone drinks coffee. I drink it and I see the benefits myself,” said Knowles.
A pharmacologist with whom Knowles works—Dr. Craig Leivent—said that the typical jitteriness that people get from drinking too much coffee is offset in Flower Power’s brand. He noted that the caffeine will still perk up the drinker, but there will be no jitters.
Initially, Knowles had planned to sell his product through a local coffee house that is opening in Glendale, but the two ventures parted ways and he is now in his third week of trading with the U.K.—and he said that the business couldn’t be doing better.
Knowles was originally a consultant chef in the restaurant industry and helped to launch many eateries in the United States and United Kingdom. He moved to the United States from Lancashire a little over four years ago, worked with various Hells Kitchen and Master Chef Contestants and helped to open restaurants in Texas and New Hampshire that won awards from the popular New England cooking television show Phantom Gourmet.
Knowles’ 14 years as a professional chef and first-hand knowledge of the medical benefits of cannabis later led him to create the first-ever CBD infused dinner in New York.
He promotes Flower Power Coffee with his wife, Beth, who he met at Burning Man.
“We’re modern day hippies,” he said. Together, they travel the country, working with small companies and going to craft and vending fairs.
“We just went to Maine and, next week, we’re going to the Rhode Island Cannabis Convention Festival,” he said.
Leighton has rounded out his team with a doctor of pharmacology, chocolatier and a business consultant.
“We have a really good team behind us,” Knowles said.
Flower Power is also working with a roasting house in New York City to produce its coffee. He wouldn’t reveal how he makes his coffee, but noted that the CBD is added after the cooling process of roasting.
He said that he could not resist getting on board with the trend of seasonal coffees. Flower Power is now offering a pumpkin spice coffee.
“It’s like pumpkin pie in a cup,” he said of the blend.
Flower Power Coffee also offers coffee without CBD at Flowerpower.coffee, where consumers can buy a full line of merchandise, including shirts created by a local artist, Harrison Lance Crawford .
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin.