Up In Smoke
Always Sunny In Lakewood
LAKEWOOD — The newest addition to Lakewood storefronts is more than just a smoke shop.
Derek Pollino has always wanted to own a business. Now, he and his wife’s creation will look to capture the essence of the 1970s that will be an “outlet for creativity” with the new business, 42∂ & Sunny.
The self-described “upscale smoke shop” opened on April 20 with a grand opening ceremony with a musical performance by “Common Denominator.” Autographed memorabilia worth more than $1,000 was raffled off during the opening.
The storefront offers tie-dyed shirts, hemp clothing, accessories, glass and collectibles.
Pollino has plans to include the community as he builds his business’ brand.
“We want to involve the local artists as much as we can,” he said.
While 42∂ & Sunny sells numerous brands, it will also release its own store’s T-shirt design each month in collaboration with a local artist.
Located at 50 Chautauqua Ave., Lakewood, Pollino hopes his business can “capture the hippest era in our country’s history” with its wide variety items for sale. For all inquires, employees at 42∂ & Sunny can be reached at 526-4003.
Pollino’s wife Kristen Pollino, his children Jaron and Hannah Pollino and his children’s significant others have all put time in at the store to make it operational ahead of its launch.
Pollino, even when he was enlisted in the Navy, wanted to create his own business. He recalled a moment in his life that possibly influenced his current venture.
Pollino remembered a time while he was serving in the Navy when he entered a smoke shop, also known as a head shop. Near San Diego, Calif., Pollino visited a business called The Black. The vibe the California store gave off was a feeling Pollino always carried with him.
“By the time I left, I kind of hoped at some point in my life I would get to do something similar,” he said.
While smoke shops often have marijuana-related themes and sell smoking devices that are not intended to be used for illegal substances, Pollino said, for him, The Black and 42∂ & Sunny are much more than that.
In the front of the Lakewood store are a range of clothing items and accessories with vibrant colored patterns from local designers and stock Pollino ordered. While Pollino said the store is more than glass pieces and water pipes, he does, however, have them in stock in the back.
“We didn’t want it to hit people in the face when they first walked in,” he said of storing such items away from the front.
And while Pollino maintained the store’s merchandise isn’t limited to the common marijuana theme among other smoke shops, the new store does not shy away from the imagery.
Numerous items throughout the store feature the pot-plant symbol synonymous with marijuana. The grand opening was also held on April 20, which is widely regarded as a marijuana-related holiday. The date is also subtly referenced in the shop’s name.
Pollino’s take on the possible legalization of cannabis, or marijuana, is that “it’s going to be legal soon enough anyway and it probably should have been.”
Pollino emphasized its potential impact on economic industry and its current usage for medicinal purposes in New York state.
For more information, visit 42degreesandsunny.com.