Executive Spotlight: Kathryn Blackwell

Kathryn Blackwell is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Open Dør, a national cannabis retail franchise headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. With over three decades of experience in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector, Kathryn has built a successful reputation for elevating brands through effective e-commerce development, product innovation, and strategic communications. Her background in the franchised consumer food industry provided a strong foundation for her transition into the cannabis space. Since establishing The Open Dør in 2020, Kathryn has integrated proven franchise strategies and merchandising practices into the dispensary brand to deliver a modern aesthetic and transform the consumer experience. Prior to entering the cannabis market, Kathryn co-founded international franchisor Kahala Corp, which owned more than 12 brands, among them Cold Stone Creamery, TacoTime, Samurai Sam’s, and others, with more than 3,500 locations operating in 23 countries. 

Full birth name: Kathryn Blackwell

 Title: Co-Founder and CEO

 Company: The Open Dør

 Years at current company: 1

 Education profile: I studied at San Jose State University and was on track to earn a degree in both English and Business Administration with a concentration in both Marketing and Management.  I made the decision to leave school to launch a retail smoothie company which was the precursor to the company that eventually became Kahala Corp, an international franchise organization.

 Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: 

I co-founded international franchisor Kahala Corp, which owned more than 12 brands, among them Cold Stone Creamery, TacoTime, Samurai Sam’s, and others, with more than 3,500 locations operating in 23 countries. 

 Company Mission:

“Step in, all are welcome at The Open Dør.”

The Open Dør’s mission is to elevate the cannabis retail experience with a turnkey franchising solution for dispensary operators. The Open Dør’s modern design aesthetic, proven  operational systems, compliance-driven methods, and customer-focused approach, are setting a new standard in dispensary retail. Take the complexity out of cannabis and step into your next venture.

Company’s most successful achievement:

One of the things that The Open Dør is most proud of so far is that we launched this concept and business during the pandemic. Thankfully, because we have a target audience that is in an emerging and thriving market, we are gaining interest quickly with our concept. I’m also proud of our all-star team, which is primarily female professionals. We are also a women-owned business, which is not the norm in the cannabis industry. Overall, we’ve developed an extraordinary retail experience for the consumer and an educational program for The Open Dør staff. This is something that is not currently available in the marketplace and I’m excited to see how we expand our offerings as we continue to grow. 

 Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):

if so, how much?:

Yes, The Open Dør raised enough money to create the dispensary prototype, formalize the business model, and have a successful launch of the new dispensary brand. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Raising capital is strategically valuable for our business in order to support our plans for business growth and implementation. This will directly help various franchise locations across multiple markets. 

Most important company 5-year goal:

The Open Dør’s expansion plans include having multiple locations throughout legalized cannabis states to offer a safe, consistent and educational buying experience for customers, while helping local entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of the cannabis industry. This goal could be bigger if federal legalization comes through before that five year mark. 

 

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