POST CATEGORY: Access, Northwest

Herbs House in Ballard offers up Smoothies and Sativas

December 03, 2013 | WES ABNEY

The comfy, brightly lit space has a fresh juice bar downstairs from its fully stocked access point

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ABOVE: Melody, a budtender and barista, whips up a beet-infused drink 

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A new business has moved into Ballard’s 65th street neighborhood, and it is stirring up more than delicious organic smoothies and lattes.

Herb’s House is a new type of business for Seattle, and for Washington. It’s a hybrid that mixes the pleasures of a local delicatessen with the comfort of a quality medical Cannabis access point. The building is infused with natural light, and has found new life in a transformation from a custom flower shop to a new type of flower.

For founder and owner Sharon Jacobsen, the location’s vibe is the driving force behind Herb’s House.

herbshouse-quote.jpg“People are really taken back by how comfortable and inviting the space is,” she said. “We get a lot of walk-in customers who don’t even know it is an access point. Because we are a community space, a welcoming space, anyone can come in and feel at home.”

It’s a pleasurable experience walking up the stone stairs to the front (a wheelchair ramp is also available.) Herb’s House has an open front deck and a comfortable waiting room. The espresso/smoothie bar is granite and wood, with stools that pull you up at a perfect height. The menu is done in colorful chalk, with unique combinations of food and drink to tempt the palate.

“We have four main smoothie recipes on the menu, but there is always the option to add/take away ingredients or invent your own! We’ve also started making soups, and we have the make-your-own grilled cheese option that has been really popular,” Sharon said while moving around behind the bar. “We use all organic ingredients, and source a lot of our products locally from Charlie’s Produce, and use Cafe Vita coffee.”

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One of the best parts of the experience is watching the juice being freshly pressed and squeezed after ordering. Forget juice from concentrate -- this is the real deal. With all organic ingredients, the items are healthful and environmentally conscious.

“People in Seattle are more aware of the food going into their bodies. It is important to provide food for people and patients alike,” Sharon said.

Once patrons have had their fill of food, those who are patients can head upstairs for access to the medicine room. A staircase opens into an unusually shaped room -- the center is occupied by a case full of several strains and medicated options. In the flower department, the XJ-22 stands out with a sharp piney smell and powerful effects. Herb’s House also features two different runs of the UK Cheese/Albert Walker cross, both of which are incredibly tasty and have properties specific to each cut. The cheese smell sneaks past the lemony skunk smell of the AW, but when smoked, the piney flavor comes through.

herbshouse6.jpgherbshouse4.jpgAlso worth noting is the selection of concentrates, including great bubble hash options ranging from 2 to 5 stars, and BHO options that include High herbshouse5.jpgherbshouse3.jpgClass Concentrates King Kong and Harlequin oils. We also found a nice selection of Cannabis Basics topicals, and Ettalew’s-baked medibles for those who prefer a sweet treat. It’s pretty clear from looking through the selection that Jacobsen takes as much pride in her quality medicine as she does with the smoothie ingredients downstairs.

“All our growers follow organic methods and nutrients, and we are very picky about the medicine we bring in,” Jacobsen said. “I am passionate about the medicine, so it is important for me to get a product that I believe in and can stand by giving to patients.”

For budtender Darby Hagemen, the experience has been enriching and offers a twist on the typical budtending position.

“This is what I was looking for all along,” Darby said. “This is work? Really? I get great joy out of explaining the medicine for my new patients. They want so much to know about the medicine, and I can educate them, and then send them downstairs for a smoothie!”

The best part about Herb’s House is not forcing a friend or loved one to wait in the car during a slow trip to an access point. Everyone is welcome, and the friendly staff is ready to answer any questions, whether about MMJ or a spinach-infused smoothie.

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