iVita Wellness Pearl
1660 Pearl Street, Denver, CO 80203
Why you should go: great, walkable neighborhood, lots of things to do nearby, many recommendations from the staff on which of those things you must check out; extremely eager, informative, chatty, enthusiastic, ambassador-for-Denver-type service; variety of edibles and drinks
iVita was the closest recreational shop to our Capitol Hill AirBnB and the place our host recommended when we asked her where we could walk if we wanted some bud and some food. It was an easy hike, although we were extremely hungry and probably should’ve gotten dinner first. The shop’s number one selling point is its awesome location, in the lively Uptown neighborhood with plenty in the vicinity to explore.
Housed inside a funny little building – almost a kind of hut, one story, square-shaped, standalone, squat – iVita’s front doors lead to a large, open lobby area with plenty of seats and a window to talk through to handle checking in and exchanging identification.
The recreational marijuana shop experiences we characterize as ideal include warm, welcoming, glad-to-help service, where you feel secure and comfortable with the people who are providing you with both products and information. We have, on occasion, encountered some casual nonchalance, because not everyone can be the ideal, but that doesn’t exactly describe what we found at iVita Pearl.
As we approached the front desk we had to get the staff member’s attention, and then he barely spoke to us. It was clear from his dismissive tone and body language that he didn’t want to answer any of our questions, some of which he just ignored, let alone engage us in the type of conversation we expected during a first visit to a shop. When we prompted him to talk about iVita, he essentially snubbed us. When we asked if we could take photos of the modern, stylish waiting room, he said, “Why? There’s nothing to see,” before slapping our IDs back to us. So, unfortunately, we had to take off points for our first impression, because first impressions mean a lot. In fact, if we hadn’t been there to write a review, we probably would’ve walked out.
We’re glad we didn’t, because iVita redeemed itself in the product room. We were soon beckoned into a pretty tiny space where it seemed two budtenders were waiting on customers – one on the rec side and one on the med side. And, perhaps coincidentally, or perhaps because the universe has a way of balancing itself out, we were helped by the cheeriest, friendliest budtender you’d ever want to meet.
She’d either had a nice strong sativa or a nice strong espresso recently, as she maintained a level of chipper, rattling off strains and effects, like none I’d ever witnessed. She was more than willing to give us absolutely all the information about absolutely everything in the store, whether it was a product we were considering or not, and if she didn’t know all the information, she knew how to find out. She even went as far as to write down some of the information for us (other shops we should try and the proper spelling of Illuzion along with its street address, which she looked up on her phone, so we wouldn’t go to the wrong place by mistake). She could think of several places where we might want to find some dinner, and mentioned names and dishes and directions and her favorite things to get at each.
I swear, she must know the effect the front desk guy has on customers, and she’s the yin to his yang.
As for selection, when we visited iVita they had a wide assortment of products, mostly in the form of edibles, tinctures, and drinks. They stocked Sweet Grass Kitchen Chocolate Chip Bites, Incredibles Gum-e’s, and The Growing Kitchen Zoom Balls, among many others, along with Dixie Dew Drops and Dixie Elixirs. Their recreational side didn’t have the most extensive flower menu – a couple indicas, a couple sativas, and a handful of hybrids – and most of the choices came in at $18/gram and had mild to medium THC levels, rather a tiered pricing system for different strain categories. Available concentrates included O-Pen cartridges and shatter and wax from 710 Labs and TC Labs.
After we heard complete descriptions of almost everything, we opted for some Mob Boss and a Blue Kudu bar, which, at $17 for 100 mg THC, is a lot of bang for your buck and pretty tasty too.
It’s hard to stay down when a rainbow unicorn invites you to hop around on the clouds with her. That was our mood when we left iVita, with a much better feeling than our initial impression gave us, and we smiled as we passed our successors in the waiting room. It gets better, we promised, it definitely gets better. And the night continued to get better, especially after a meal and a post-dinner joint of Mob Boss.