“Meet me at Ajoya, 1110 w. Dillon Rd. Louisville 80027” texted Jesse, our head writer and the chaperone of my first walk through of one of the fine establishments in this fair state that facilitate the loving distribution of all things wonderful.
“Great.” I remember thinking, “Probably one of those stale little cookie cutter places. Something easy and plain for my first review,” my subconscious muttered. As I pulled off of US 36 and drove right into a strip mall and met up with Jesse, I thought my premonition was going to positively ring true. Boy howdy, how wrong was I.
Whenever we sauntered into Ajoya on that dismal mid-fall day mere moments before the seasons first snowfall, my world shifted a bit. That may seem a bit extreme, but bare with me. My first immediate thought was, “Wow, this looks like a groovy cocktail lounge.” The hip-noir mixology joints where you can get a “twist” on a classic beverage, if you will. The space was completely open and offered a full view of the entire operation, which is bizarre.. as I — and most everyone— am used to walking into a place and facing a receptionist behind a desk that asks for your ID’s and then you have to wait in a separate room until your number is rang. Ajoya flips that whole setup on it’s head and instead you are greeted by a modern, rounded off desk/check in spot that lies within the dispensary itself. In the two and a half years I have been in this state, I have yet to see more than a handful of places with that type of layout. It makes the entire process seem much more genuine and inviting and less like a consumer/supplier experience. I like that.
Along the walls and in a giant island like center piece were these gorgeous and amazing shadow boxes that showcased their fantastic glass and hardware selection. While it wasn’t an overflowing selection t was, without a shred of doubt, the best variety of fine glass and high end smoking gear that I have seen in a dispensary, rivaling higher end head shops. Not the sort of place to buy $10 throwaway chillums and spoons, more like that place to buy a rig that you would see in The Fifth Element. As I peered around the open shop, bobbing my head to their comforting music selection, the more I began thinking, “This may be the raddest shop I have ever been to”
Ajoya’s, which started as Compassionate Pain Management back in 2011, business model is heavily rooted in actual medical care rather than how super totally stoned you can get, bro. While yes, you can get totally stoned using their services, their entire motif is way more based on individual customer care and satisfaction. In the back corner of the shop lies a personal and private room for those with a Red Card in which you can sit down with their incredibly knowledgeable staff to ask the specific questions to find the perfect strain for your individual needs. I have yet to see this is my travels, but it makes so much sense. Standing at a counter while people are milling about can make someone a bit anxious when discussing private medicinal needs. This cozy little safe room completely eliminates that problem.
Continuing chatting with the Ajoya staff, I found folks who were truly passionate about their profession and not just some flat-bill’s who got their badge. People that honestly take pride in their craft, knowledge of the industry, and the business that they worked for. It was a genuine breath of fresh air. Walking up to the purchasing counter was no exception to that.
The selection was second to none, with each flower jar embossed with terms like settle, unwind, focus, and elevate. The whole shopping experience has been tailored for the greenery tourist who are coming from foreign, slightly less enlightened states but not in a hokey way. I took my time looking about their nearly Dewey Decimal system type of organization and asked my budtender, Kevin, a series of differing questions from all sides of the spectrum. Not only did he answer them with confidence but offered an array of suggestions for different types of bud specific to my needs, and why. The “and why” is a very important thing that many people may look over. Sure, offering an indica for sleeplessness is a no brainer, but explaining why for the laymen is very important in this climate. They have a wonderful selection of Ajoya grown products and a slew of ever-changing wholesale strains that helps maintain their brand but also showcases other fantastic products grown by other operations. They completely focus on greenhouse, soil grown, and organic growing practices which completely encompasses the Colorado mindset. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but every single Ajoya grown bud —they grow many of their own products— I scoped out was of the top-tier quality. Exactly the smell, look, consistency, and structure you look for when you’re out shoppin’. A true rarity for a mostly “in-house” operation. Even the rotating wholesale products were on par with their standards, the attention to detail was impossible to ignore.
Lest we forget about edibles, my personal favorite vehicle to get to where I want to be, was out of this world. I noticed, even as a humbly viscous edible fanatic, there were a few brands I didn’t recognize. High end, designer, beautiful selections of different chocolates, teas, bars, and everything in between were laid out in a sexy little display case. It was all so beautiful. I even talked about random little products that I couldn’t remember the name or manufacturer that weren’t displayed and was told, “Oh, hold up man!” with a jovial smile and like Felix the Cat and his magical bag, they whipped out exactly what I was talking about based solely on my poor and half remembered description. Well done Ajoya, well done indeed.
If you are a value shopper, then look no further. Even though the prices are a bit on the pricier side for an 1/8th, 35-55, the product alone speaks for itself. If you are a repeat guest at this fine establishment, you can sign up for their excellent rewards program which offers 5 bucks for every 100 you spend. For those heavy indulgers out there, you know how quickly that can add up. Every single day of the week, some sort of random deal is making it all the more easy on the ole’ wallet. Mondays, 20% off edibles. Tuesdays, buy 2 pre-rolls get one for 1 dollar. Hash Wednesday. Shatterday. You get the picture. Time your purchases appropriately and you’ll be saving countless dollars while enjoying the ambiance of one of the classiest shops I have ever been too.
Ajoya, without question, will become the template for which dispensaries will base their entire business model. The entirety of my experience, from the first step in the door all the way to my exit of the building, was exactly what I feel like shops will be like in 5-7 years. Open, informative, interactive, and most importantly enjoyable. I wholeheartedly felt like I was shopping in the (not too) distant future. It’s the type of place that when your friends come in from out of town and you want them to experience their first caress into the world of legal consumption, Ajoya is it. This little strip mall joint (pun 100% intended) was indubitably the opposite of what I thought it was going to be. Yes, it may be a bit of a drive from Denver, 20-25 minutes depending on traffic, but the whole experience is worth it. Wouldn’t you drive from Denver to Boulder for their amazing farmers market? Exact. Same. Concept.
If you get an opportunity to visit Ajoya of Louisville, CO let them know you heard of them through the Dope Directory, and please give them a rating!