“Two brothers, a wife and few close friends” recently got together to offer Milwaukee’s cannabidiol (CBD) aficionados high-quality, seed-to-shelf products. Cream City Wellness is a hemp farm just outside of Milwaukee, as well as a brick-and-mortar store where flower, topicals, full-spectrum hemp extracts, pet care, bath and body care products are sold.
The store (327 N. Broadway) can be hard to find, as the entrance is in an alley adjacent to Colectivo Coffee, across the street from the Public Market—keep your eyes peeled for a somewhat-discreet chalkboard sign. Within, a warm atmosphere and cream-colored bricks welcome visitors, hinting at the fact this is a company that celebrates all things Wisconsin.
“We really love Wisconsin, and we want to embrace that,” said Alli Gengembre, whose husband, Alex, is one of the head growers and co-owner of Cream City Wellness. Unlike other hemp stores in Milwaukee, this one boasts the fact it is entirely local and products aren’t imported. “We are happy to be able to monitor and control the entire process from start to finish. There are companies that have to outsource their flower or processing, but we are able to do everything in house.”
To ensure full control over the quality of their products, the owners of Cream City Wellness leave nothing to third parties, except for independent lab testing. “We are a seed-to-shelf company, so we want to focus on the quality of the hemp that we are growing, because that is what goes into all of our products,” Gengembre said. “We want to make sure we can see that whole process through; that’s why we’re vertically integrated—we do the growing, the processing, the packaging, everything.” They make small batches, but customers can be assured every single product sold in the shop has been carefully made.
The choice to grow hemp was made when the state debuted the hemp pilot program. Alex Gengembre owned a landscaping company prior to Cream City Wellness; he used this experience with plants to grow hemp. He was helped along the way by his brother, who had experience growing medical marijuana out of state. Besides just growing hemp, they wanted to be able to educate the community on the subject.
“We grew about two acres and 11 different varieties just to try it out and see how they did in the climate here in Wisconsin,” Alli Gengembre explained. “Since then, we have kept moving forward and trying to increase our acreage and increase production.” Their fields now encompass 70 acres.
“We make small batches of oil through ethanol extraction, then we infuse the oil into the products,” she continued. “We don’t do mass production, and we only make products as we need it. For us, what really matters is the quality of each product, and we know what exactly we are putting into it.”
Aug. 13, 2019