Cumbria’s first CBD cafe opened in what has been called “progressive and exciting”.

After waiting more than 12 months and being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, West Lakes Hemp founders Nic Hewitt and Luke Woodend, of Cleator Moor, say they couldn’t be more proud of their new business.

Long hours, bumps on the road and doubters didn’t stop the two CBD entrepreneurs, as Nic explains: “Many long winter nights were spent in our new premises, which conveyed the feeling of Nic and Luke.

“We want everything to be welcoming and friendly. We have tried to do justice to everyone in our community. We have created a private consultation room where people can get advice on CBD and our products.

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“We try to educate, support and guide those with knowledge gaps in Cumbria as CBD is still a topic that is not so widespread just because of the lack of open conversation.

“We have been pushing a local supply chain a lot, one of our newest deliveries is Emma Bakes, who makes our CBD cakes, sandwiches and goodies.

Nic is happy that West Lakes Hemp is now open

“Neither I nor Luke have ever worked in a hospitality business so it was interesting to get used to our fancy coffee machines and a lot of fun.”

CBD is a dietary supplement that contains the legal substance cannabidiol and is not psychoactive. Several studies have shown that it can relieve physical pain and fight mental problems.

Anni Hamer, an active CBD user and attorney from Carlisle, said it helped her with a chronic illness.

She said, “I have fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder that affects all aspects of my life, including sleep, mood, and anxiety.

“I can say with confidence that CBD supplements have mitigated this and I have seen tremendous improvement in my own life with anxiety and sleep – I feel much calmer and more relaxed.

There are a number of CBD and hemp infused products on offer

“Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to CBD, but that’s entirely due to a lack of understanding and actions like these by Nic and Luke will really help make information and education much more accessible and accessible.”

West Lakes Hemp has been around since 2018 and for the past four years they have mostly sold products online. They initially had a shop in Carlisle, but when Covid showed up, the company was mainly focused on e-commerce.

Luke said the pandemic made him realize the importance of this. He added, “Our cafe was significantly delayed by Covid, but I’m really excited to see our community back in real life.

“We have seen sales of our products skyrocket over the past year as many have struggled with their mental health and wellbeing. It was very difficult for all of us as many work alone at home every day, feeling isolated and lacking in routine.

“I missed our customers and friends, so a café where everyone is welcome is music to my ears. I am really happy and proud that we keep fighting for a good cause, it’s great for my own well-being, Experience the true Cumbrian community atmosphere once again.

“The support so far has been excellent and we really can’t fault our first week, a great start to a long journey that lies ahead.”

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