Ross Bradshaw has plenty of memories from the plaza at 118 Cambridge St. in Worcester. In the mornings, Bradshaw’s father used to take him and his sister to a since-closed cafe there.
Now, that plaza is home to New Dia, a cannabis shop Bradshaw is opening with sights set on giving back to the community, supporting small businesses and giving customers a new experience.
“He would give us life lessons in that cafe,” Bradshaw said of his father, getting teary-eyed with the memory. “Who would have known, 20 years later me and him are here building a dispensary.”
For Bradshaw, opening this dispensary has been an exercise in honoring equity, reflecting Worcester’s culture and supporting the community.
Bradshaw is targeting March 1 as an opening date. Once open, New Dia will be the first economic empowerment cannabis shop to serve customers in Worcester. The program from the state Cannabis Control Commission was created to benefit people and communities disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition. Last year, Pure Oasis in Boston became the first economic empowerment business to open in the state.
New Dia plans to donate the first $5,000 of its sales to the South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Corporation, Bradshaw said.