Four months after being purchased by a New York agribusiness company, RiNo’s Grow Big Supply has gone dark.
Grow Big, which sold gardening supplies such as dirt and hydroponic systems used to cultivate marijuana, announced it was closing its 50,000-square-foot retail store, at 4501 Wynkoop St. near the National Western Complex, in a Feb. 9 Facebook post.
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is marketing the space for lease.
Grow Big, which New York-based Pervasip Corp. bought for $5 million in October, closed abruptly.
The closure came as a shock to store customers, some of whom say they’re owed money.
David McGhee, an engineer who builds machines that extract cannabis into hash, stopped by Grow Big’s RiNo shop on Feb. 15 to pick up an extractor the store was selling for him on consignment.
“I had an $8,000 lab-grade extractor there on display that they were supposed to sell,” McGhee said. “It had been there for about six months and hadn’t sold, so I went there to pick it up.”
Grow Big’s doors were closed and had a “Keep Out” sign. McGhee said he went inside to find his extractor.
“I went through that whole place looking for it,” he said. “It had signs of people being present – there were bikes and saws laid out, but no one was there.”
McGhee left after he failed to find the extractor.
Grow Big and Pervasip did not return calls for comment from BusinessDen by press time.
Gloria Von Schweetz, a two-year repeat customer at the store, ordered about $100 worth of charcoal from Grow Big to build a terrarium (with no pot involved) in late January.
“When I came in to buy (the charcoal), the employee there pulled up a website and took my credit card information and put in an order there – it wasn’t like he called a supplier,” Von Schweetz said. “He gave me a receipt and told me he’d call me when it came in. I was expecting to hear back in two weeks or so.”
Three weeks later, Von Schweetz still hadn’t heard back from Grow Big.
“I called the number that they have listed on Google and it was just ringing and ringing and eventually it just went to a voicemail that was full,” she said.
McGhee and Von Schweetz aired their grievances on Facebook, but haven’t heard back from the company, they said.
Grow Big employees weren’t aware of the pending closure, said former employee Mike Paulk.
“We were told that we had product and we had money coming in up until the very end,” Paulk said. “Then we came in and they told us they were closing that day. There were six employees there and they didn’t give us any notice.”
Paulk said that Oliver Poiss, Grow Big’s CEO at the time of the Pervasip purchase, no longer worked with Grow Big.
“He wasn’t the cause of it,” Paulk said. “He was trying his best with these people he brought in and they wouldn’t work with him, so he left.”
Poiss founded Grow Big in 2010 in an 800-square-foot segment of the property, where the company also hosted events.
Poiss told BusinessDen in July that Grow Big raked in $7.5 million in revenue in 2013.