Meet Your Merchant: Carbondale’s Sweet Leaf Pioneer |

Meet Your Merchant: Carbondale’s Sweet Leaf Pioneer

From left, Sweet Leaf Pioneer owners Mike Friend, Dieneka Manzanares and Dave Manzanares.
Provided |

How did your business start?

After successfully running a medical dispensary since 2010 and a retail dispensary expansion in 2014 in Eagle the next obvious Pioneering tactic was to move to the Roaring Fork Valley after being such a dominant force in the Vail/Eagle Valley.

What do you sell?

Premium Cannabis, edibles, salves, concentrates and glass.

Why do you like what you do?

Because it is a forever-changing field that gives us the opportunity to be on the forefront of a national movement, truly something bigger than ourselves.

What strategy do you use to hire good people?

We are able to recruit the best individual team members because we have the best product in the industry. It is easy for them to stand behind something they themselves would use. We look for individuals who, like our name implies, will be “pioneers” in the industry. With the other many employee perks we offer and the aforementioned reasons, our average employee has already had two years of experience in this relatively budding industry — a world of difference compared to our leading competitors.

What is your strategy for growth in the next year?

We are planning to open two more locations on the western slope to provide our quality products to more people and continue to be the “pioneer” in the land of “green.”

What is the best thing about running a business here?

The best thing about running a business is the customers and the location nestled below Mount Sopris and near the Colorado, Roaring Fork and Crystal rivers, allowing us to do what we love where we love … and of course with a very chill crowd.

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