By Abi Bistany

It may go without saying, but it has been a stressful 12 months. We have all implemented our own versions of self-care and wellness regimenes to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Hempire, a 21+ CBD retail establishment that has locations in Amesbury, Massachusetts, as well as Exeter and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, strives to provide the local community with products to assist and compliment their wellness goals. Hempire’s inventory is ninety-five percent vegan, guaranteeing a pleasurable shopping experience for those who value ethical and cruelty-free products.

While Hempire offers stress-relieving products, they have also created a stress-free store environment that ensures your mind is at ease while shopping amid Covid-19 health and safety concerns. The store is exceptionally clean and spacious, suitable for social distancing. The register-counter area is separated by a large, clear plastic tarp hanging from the ceiling to create a shield between customers and employees. There is a sign reminding you to sanitize with complementary hand sanitizer upon arrival, to wear a mask, and to social distance. The calming nature of Hempire’s meticulously curated inventory compliments the tone of the space, which centers you amid plants, Bhuddist statues, and a water fountain.

Safety and aesthetics aside, the quality products that Hempire carries are the foremost reason to visit any of their locations. Admittedly, CBD can be a bit overwhelming for those seeking the possible health benefits that continue to be studied, such as pain relief and anxiety reduction. Kirby Mastrangelo, owner and founder of Hempire, views Hempire as more than just a retail store, describing her business as an oasis of health and wellness and a safe space for people to share their stories.

Mastrangelo said, “Our entire focus is health and wellness. When we opened our doors in 2017, we knew that we wanted to focus on the potential healing and preventative properties that CBD may have.”  She continued, “Many of our customers use the products for things like sleep, stress, pain and inflammation, all things which throw our bodies and minds out of balance. Being able to offer products to the Amesbury community that may help them has been incredible.”

Mastrangelo opened the first Hempire retail store in Methuen, MA in 2017, aiming to be inclusive of all people and lifestyles. Mastrangelo remembers the dismal selection of vegan products available to the public at the time and saw this as an opportunity to provide vegans with more of a variety: “Many of our employees as well as clients are vegan. When we first opened, there weren’t too many vegan options on the market…In an attempt to cater to both our employees and customers, we sought out as many quality vegan CBD products we could find, from tinctures to edibles to topicals.”

Mastrangelo describes Amesbury as a health-conscious and open minded community, though CBD was still a bit taboo when they first opened in the downtown area. Luckily, the community and other small business owners welcomed Hempire with open arms. Mastrangelo said,  “Our favorite thing hands-down has to be the relationships we’ve built with the community and surrounding businesses. There’s a lot of love here. Our customers mostly tell us how grateful they are that we’re here, and we’re grateful for that as well.” 

Upon request, Mastrangelo has selected 5 of her favorite vegan products sold at Hempire to share with VeganZine:

  • Happy Clam” from Quim is a topical for women’s vaginal health, PH balance and preventative care. It contains a variety of herbs that may address different issues or concerns.
  • Recovery Gummies” from Charlotte’s Web are a vegan and gluten free supplement that combines CBD with ginger and turmeric for a great anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Body Mist” from Ralph’s Garden is a topical spray made in Boston that may help reduce inflammation and irritation. It also has an earthy and delicious smell.
  • 2400mg Broad Spectrum ‘Gold Oil’ from another great Massachusetts based business, The Healing Rose. This is the ideal product for someone who needs a super fast and effective delivery.

Gina Faro, Creative Director of Hempire, works at the Amesbury location assisting customers. Her duties as event planner for Hempire were put on hold due to Covid-19, but as cases are declining and restrictions are  being lifted, Hempire will be holding its first event since the pandemic. “Our first in store event will take place on April 20. It will be an after hours private shopping and yoga experience. We’re very excited to start bringing vendors back regularly as well as introduce some new wellness courses and classes,” said Faro.

It is apparent how much thought is put into every product selected to be sold at Hempire. It is a business whose purpose is to provide its customers access to safe and legitimate CBD, and patrons can trust they are purchasing high quality CBD that is lab tested and free of all heavy metals, pesticides and toxins. Faro also mentions that every product sold at Hempire is U.S. grown and third party tested.

In the past few years CBD has become much more popular, creating a larger market for customers to choose from. Faro says her favorite part about working at Hempire is serving the local community and building relationships with customers who are genuinely interested in the benefits of their products.

“There is a certain level of trust that’s built when you’re talking to people about their personal life and wellness goals. With CBD being so mainstream, I am honored that the Amesbury community views Hempire as their trusted source of CBD,” said Faro. “I feel proud to help educate the community about the wonderful Hemp plant. I think most people come back because of our knowledge and customer service.”

From skincare to pain relief, Hempire is a local treasure that values its vegan customers through its large inventory suited to a plant-based and cruelty-free lifestyle. Whether you are a CBD enthusiast or a newcomer curious about how CBD can be introduced to your wellness routine, Hempire is a friendly, knowledgeable business worth visiting.

Disclaimer: No statement in this article has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Furthermore, none of the statements here should be construed as dispensing medical advice. Please consult with a licensed health care professional before trying ny dietary supplement, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.

Abi (she/her) has been vegan for 5 years and recently graduated from Boston University. Abi is a writer as well as a member and social media coordinator for 100 American Lebanese Who Care, a charity organization raising money for non-profits in Lebanon working on the ground to provide relief for the Lebanese civilians recovering from the August 4 2020 Beirut Blast.

You can follow Abi on Instagram @abibistany!

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