Toronto store that closed replaced with cannabis shop with almost identical name
A small Toronto business that closed down has been upset to see a cannabis shop take its place with almost the exact same name.
Community 54 owner Daymon Green, who shut down the streetwear company's physical location in Toronto around the time lockdowns took hold, isn't happy to see the new store capitalizing off his name.
Day-to-day business was gradually slowed down at Community 54 in 2019, and they still held events at the space until lockdowns forced all businesses to close to visitors in March 2020.
"Our brick and mortar location closed because of personal reasons, and other opportunities," Green tells blogTO.
Also, online sales were becoming more popular than ever, and the business (which is alive and well) focused on that, with Green saying some of their strongest sales are in Japan and Korea.
"Community 420 was brought to my attention by my daughter Hayley who saw the sign after walking by and was disappointed that I did not tell her that we had changed the business model," says Green.
"After that numerous other customers, friends, and associates had started to congratulate us via calls, texts, and messages."
Green says he tried to contact Community 420 about the similar branding with no response, prompting him to make a social media post which has gotten around 200 comments from people mostly saying they find it confusing and misleading.
"The similar branding is reprehensible and needs to be changed immediately and we will be seeking damages based on a few factors: damage to our public image, trademark infringement, and/or misleading name and signage," says Green.
Community 54 is making a "Make it Right Community 420" shirt that they'll be selling to promote the issue, with proceeds going to an Indigenous charity.
However, Community 420 owner Zachary (who preferred not to give a last name) says he didn't intend to insult anyone or piggyback off anyone else's accomplishments, and that he thought that one of the partners at Community 54 told his manager it was "cool" to use the "community" aspect of the name.
"I'm not sure if he got permission from the other partner or anything like that but I'm being honest when I say that I had no intention on copycatting the name or anything like that," Zachary tells blogTO.
"I'm a 28-year-old guy that's $30,000 in debt opening up the store. I haven't made a penny off of it yet and I don't really want any further issues. I'm currently reading through the process of how to change our name and I will be going through with it."
He also says he hasn't been contacted in the six months Community 420 has been open about the issue, though he was told the manager was contacted instead of him. He also says he's there five days a week and that the phone number and email for the store are clearly listed online.
He's not sure when the name will officially be changed as that's up to the AGCO, and is completely open to talking to Green anytime to apologize if he offended him.
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