Roll Back in Time with CarHop Service at San Jose’s Caliva

Caliva CEO Dennis O’Malley knows his customers want options.

That’s why the San Jose cannabis dispensary recently launched a CarHop service on top of its already existing curbside and in-store retail access.

O’Malley said he’d been hearing feedback from customers who wanted a more personal to-go experience. With that, CarHop was born. Although the curbside and CarHop services are similar, the difference is in the details.

“Think of the difference as self- and full-service [at a gas station],” O’Malley said. “You have the same access to a product, but in the CarHop model you have someone coming up to your car right when you drive up and asking how they can help you.”

Once customers reach their designated CarHop spot, a Caliva “wellness consultant” will arrive to talk through any questions before placing the customers’ order with an iPad. After the order is paid for, customers can expect to get their product within 10 minutes.

Caliva customers can acquire products in a variety of ways, from in-store pickup, curbside pickup, home delivery and now the CarHop option.

“We’re hyper-focused on providing great service and offering choices to customers,” O’Malley said. “The feedback has been, ‘Wow, this is a great option.’ Though it’s nuanced from curbside pickup, no one we know of is doing this. For us, it’s a matter of how much can we push the envelope in terms of driving really great customer service.”

Caliva launched a curbside service on March 15, shortly after the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. In the months that followed, curbside service grew to account for 60 percent of its retail business. It was then that Caliva saw an opportunity to better cater to their customers by offering a retro-themed CarHop service. Employees will sport aprons and uniforms, while signage and umbrellas complete the back-in-time feel.

“The roller skates [idea] got nixed pretty quickly, but we’re obviously having fun with the retro CarHop service,” O’Malley said. “At the end of the day, nothing replaces a back-and-forth conversation with somebody who is a product expert. Many people feel safe in their cars to have that conversation from a distance. It’s truly a full service and maximizes a consumer’s choice as they look for convenience, safety and a trusted recommendation. That’s what CarHop is all about.”

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