Headshops aren’t the stereotypical places they were once considered. In this series, we examine the rich culture and history of WNY’s headshops. We hope our readers take the time to visit these shops, browse their impressive product selections and appreciate the amazingly intricate pieces of glass art that they offer.
Location: 12 Center St. Batavia, NY 14020
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am-7pm Sat: 12pm-6pm Sun: 12pm-3pm
What is GlassRoots?
GlassRoots has been a Batavia staple for almost 15 years. Located in the heart of the city, GlassRoots has found itself on the Center Street of all the action with access to great food, drinks, and live concerts during the summer. Founded in 2006 by Jeremy Almeter, the space has grown and evolved to be much more than just a “smoke” shop. Instead, GlassRoots has become a creative haven that empowers local artisans and crafters by consigning their work and giving them a space to sell.
What does GlassRoots mean?
GlassRoots is an homage to the humble beginnings the pioneers of glassblowing took to fight and survive (through many legal struggles) in order to bring glass art into the public eye in a grassroots way. For a long time, glass pipes were considered illegal drug paraphernalia by the government.* If a pipe wasn’t labeled “For Tobacco Use Only” or if it wasn’t referred to using specific terminology which transpired as a result, it was deemed illegal. Terms like “water-pipe” were used instead of calling it a bong…even though everyone who purchased the products were using them to consume cannabis. These beginnings posed a lot of risks, and many glass artists were only able to persevere because of their passion and commitment to the art and plant.
How is GlassRoots different from any other shop?
One of the major differences with GlassRoots is that they have live glassblowing onsite! Founder, Jeremy Almeter, has taught many glassblowing lessons and taken several apprentices under his wing. Currently, GlassRoots has four in-house glass artists: Jeremy Almeter (@pablo_glasscabar), Mike DeJaneiro (@mysticdesignmiked), Christopher Byers (@cbphotonglass), and Don Rimbek (@don_rimbeck_). As such, they offer a great selection of locally made pieces. This comes with the added benefit that if you (or probably your friend) BREAKS a piece, you can bring it back and see if it can be fixed by the artist that made it!
What can I find at GlassRoots?
GlassRoots houses a large assortment of American-made glass, the majority of which is made in-house! They also carry traditional consumption accessories such as papers and wraps, hemp-derived CBD and THC products, and many other products familiar to connoisseurs. However, they also have a large focus on art and crafts. From ceramics and pottery to handcrafted incense, both canvas and sculptural art, locally sourced wood slabs, and clothing…local artists are encouraged to bring in any products they would like to sell or see on display.
What’s in store for the future of GlassRoots?
With the advent of cannabis legalization in New York, there is a lot of buzz regarding retail adult-use dispensaries. The GlassRoots team says they’re certainly interested in pursuing this and want to provide their community with high-quality, locally grown, premium buds. However, there are a number of rules & regulations the state needs to clarify first that will greatly impact the ability of small businesses to enter this new market and operate successfully. In the meantime, feel free to stop by GlassRoots and enjoy their Delta8 THC products which are available at only a fraction of the price you’ll pay at dispensaries!
For more information about the criminalization of the art of glass blowing read our dedicated article on the topic.