In October 2013, Lucky’s founder Marc Robert and his wife accepted his mother’s offer for dinner out. She asks them a leading question during the meal, “Do you want me to be happy?”
Of course! Who doesn’t want a happy mom?
“Sure, whatever it takes,” Marc said.
“I need you to sell your house and move in with me.”
Never saw that coming.
She drops life-altering news to the couple, “I have stage four lung cancer. I don’t want to go into assisted living, and I need you to be with me.”
“Even before I could say a word, my wife said, Yes, we’ll do that,” Marc said.
The couple put their house on the market, moved the family with all four kids into Marc’s childhood home with mom, and helped provide her hospice care. She was expected to live six months, but with the love of family, laughter, chemotherapy and ongoing doses of Rick Simpson Oil she lived for 2 ½ years.
Hospice care is tough for everyone, both the dying and living, who need unconditional love and daily support. In addition to all of the Robert family members, a German Shepherd rescue delivered some of the love every day, aptly named Lucky. Lucky’s first family couldn’t keep him and Marc survived the rigor of a three-hour adoption interview, after which he was found worthy of bringing the dog home.
“That’s how we got Lucky,” he said.
Lucky’s unconditional love, silly nature and constant playfulness helped the family through this challenging time. Sadly, soon after Marc’s mom passed, Lucky also died.
“The reason I founded Lucky’s Community Cannabis Co. was an effort to spread my love of cannabis and community to as many places and people as possible. I named the company Lucky’s so I’d never forget what matters most—stepping up and taking care of your family and your community.”
When you liken your childhood home to a hostel—it provides a unique perspective on your role in the world. “Our home was always a place for entertaining and gathering for visitors from overseas. This is where I first saw diversity as a strength and learned that service before self is a concept that makes a difference in one’s life and community” said Marc. The son of a French immigrant father, who was an engineer for Ford, and a mother who taught French, Spanish, and English, Marc grew up among foreign nationals visiting his parents or doing business in Michigan.
Marc graduated from Ferris State University in 1995 earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. His work history includes franchising Burger King stores and owning and selling a produce company based in the Eastern Market in Downtown Detroit. He was an independent financial advisor at DeSeronno Wealth Management, owned and later sold an independent pizzeria called Carlitos Pizza, and presently manages and maintains multiple rental properties in Warren and Roseville as well as manages properties in Michigan for out of state clients.
Marc is also a Union Stagehand with the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 38, Detroit. “I’ve worked at all the major Detroit entertainment venues, I’ve spotlighted for Detroit Lions, Red Wings, Tigers, and the Pistons. I’ve worked on many movies shot in Detroit including all the Transformers movies, Batman vs Superman the Dawn of Justice, and The Wizard of OZ.
Marc also speaks fluent French.
“I’m a family man and my greatest accomplishment is building a good life with my beautiful wife Dorena and my four children Kathrynna, René, Megan, and Matthew. Nothing else I’ve done or will do can come close to how I feel about my family.”
After two years of studying at the University of Michigan, Karley left Ann Arbor to enroll in the school of life and pursue the lessons and experience to be learned from running a business—Lucky’s. “Going to the U of M and living in Ann Arbor allowed me to be in the heart of a cannabis-centric community. It felt like the right place for my studies and that made a good transition into the business of cannabis,” she said.
With an eclectic work history, Karley has worked front-line retail as a cashier at Whole Foods, did hair on the side, helped plan events, oversaw photoshoots and traveled for work opportunities across the country. “I saved my wages to explore India where I discovered and developed my yoga practice and continued to learn in South America for a bit before focusing on a career in cannabis.”
“Marc’s childhood home (the one he sold to Raahul) is a house from my childhood. My dad was good friends with Marc in college, and they’re still friends today. I learned of the opportunity with Lucky’s because of that relationship, and that’s what this company is about—we’re relational, not transactional.”
“I knew it was time to be a part of something that represented an important message about community and cannabis. Lucky’s values are aligned with mine, especially Dream Big. I feel like I’m doing something big right now, being part of this new company.”
Natalie started her cannabis career as a budtender. “I’m able to use that experience and lead by example, helping mentor and model Lucky’s values for our team,” she said. Natalie earned a BA in Fine Arts/Graphic Design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “I believe every single role in the company plays a vital piece in the success of Lucky’s as a whole. One thing special about a startup is the ability to help create and shape the company culture.”
Natalie has a passion for plants that comes from her Italian roots. Helping my native-Italian grandfather with his lush vegetable garden as a kid translated into a lifelong love of gardening and landscaping. Out of college, she was a graphic designer for a radio station and worked for an international marketing company. “But, I found myself gravitating towards organic farming during the spring and summer seasons and realized this work was more a part of me. I had to work with plants. The winter months brought me to the cannabis industry where I could marry my love for cannabis with my passion for helping people.”
When she was in her 20s, Natalie was diagnosed with narrow-angle glaucoma. As a young woman going through months of worry, pain, and temporary vision loss—cannabis was the one thing that helped her survive that challenging period. “When you’re told you may have permanent loss of eyesight, the world around you ironically goes dark in many ways,” she said. Marijuana lessened her mental anxiety about “what if” while easing the extreme pain of the disease. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, and marijuana acts as a powerful tool to reduce the intraocular pressure caused by it. “Words truly can’t express my gratitude towards cannabis and every part it has played to help bring back my quality of life then, and I continue to enjoy its health benefits.”
“Lucky’s is an open-hearted, judgment-free, friendly, and educated cannabis space where everyone should feel comfortable and welcome.”
Raahul hails from an entrepreneurial background as the co-founder/founder/CEO of two companies, Carter Reddy & Associates, Inc. and Sound Management, Inc., which have been in business for nearly two decades. His focus there is on education & data-driven student achievement and real estate as well as working with small businesses and entrepreneurs to empower them to positively impact their communities and their bottom lines.
Raahul earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan.
He comes from generations of family dedicated to service and along with his inspirational wife, Yamashita, he is supremely proud to raise his children with that same spirit.
His passion for education is at the heart of all his endeavors, whether it’s serving low-income students, developing businesses and leaders both in the US and overseas, or working with change agents to improve our communities right here at home. He is a charter member of the Southfield Rotary Club, Board member for non-profits including Leaps & Bounds Family Services and Redeem Detroit, as well as advisor for FreeSlaves.org, an international organization fighting bonded slavery all over the world.
“My ultimate why is a simple equation. Good = Well. When we as global citizens, family members, friends, entrepreneurs, etc., are very good at something (or to someone), we consequently do well. ‘Good’ can mean skilled or highly proficient, and ‘Well’ can mean healthily compensated with love, karma, or money. As a business person, I find this an ultimate truth-an invaluable lesson learned and re-learned throughout my 25+ years in business. Consequently, small business is a critical path to help us develop and empower the very community that nurtures and empowers us,” said Raahul.
His why for marijuana is a deeply personal one. “I have used cannabis from recreational to medicinal to spiritual purposes. Cannabis continues to help me with sleep, pain relief, and relaxation in an all-natural and non-invasive way. Now I can assist others in experiencing similar results that I and so many others enjoy daily. Combine that with Lucky’s ethos of community development, and it’s a dream come true and a lasting testament to Good = Well.”