Since the ’90s, Marlene Bruno of Greenfield has faced an array of health issues, from food allergies that caused her whole body pain after eating, to Hashimoto’s, where her immune system attacks her thyroid.
“I couldn’t touch her,” said her husband Dave Bruno. “She would just sit on the recliner all night and would be miserable.”
“She had so much chronic pain, she was having trouble living life, normally,” said Chris Bruno of Burlington, Dave and Marlene’s son.
A year and a half ago, when a family friend started selling CBD oil, Marlene decided to give it a try.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant that is not psychoactive, according to Health.com.
“I can’t even tell you how good it made me feel,” Marlene said. “When you’ve had issues for years, and then you’re starting to feel better, it’s amazing.”
“One day, she (Marlene) said to me, ‘You know what? My symptoms are starting to go away,’ ” Dave said. “That’s when I said, I’m going to start doing it, too.”
Dave broke or fractured most of his ribs in a car accident more than 30 years ago, and had lived with pain since.
After six months of using CBD oil, he said his pain went down, along with his anxiety.
Their kids decided to give it a try
Dave and Marlene’s son Paul Bruno of Wauwatosa played football from fourth grade through high school, then did kickboxing.
“I’ve had surgery on my shoulder, and dislocated it probably about 20 times,” Paul said.
He said sometimes his back has been in so much pain, he couldn’t play with his two daughters.
After using a topical on his back and shoulder, he said he can put his arm straight up for the first time since high school.
Chris, like his parents, gave CBD oil a try.
“I was always really high strung, and always had this almost like an anxiety energy,” Chris said. “Over time, I’ve just become really centered and balanced.”
Chris (from left), Dave and Paul Bruno of The Village CBD Shoppe in Greendale all graduated from Greendale High School. (Photo: Hannah Kirby/Now News Group)
Getting into the business
Seeing these effects led Paul to look into selling CBD products himself.
“It’s helped change my life and a lot of people’s lives,” he said.
Last summer, he sold at farmers markets, then at kiosks with Chris in Madison.
They left the kiosks to open up a store in Milwaukee.
The CBD Cellar, 5328 W. Vliet St. Milwaukee, opened in May and had its grand opening Aug. 24.
Since both Paul and Chris have other full-time jobs, their dad Dave, a real estate agent of 17 years, had been helping them out with it.
Less than three months ago, Dave was riding his bike through Greendale and noticed an office space for lease at 5632 Parking St.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” Dave said. “I went, ‘I have to be here.’ “
The Village CBD Shoppe opened in that office space July 31, and will have its grand opening soon.
“We all grew up here, we all graduated high school here,” Paul said. Chris graduated from Greendale High School in 1997, Dave in 1970, and Paul in 2001.
Marlene, who does the book keeping for the shops, came up with the Greendale location’s name and slogan, “Life gets better when you feel better.”
What the Greendale shop sells
Paul worked with a pharmacist to develop their own topicals, like a CBD transdermal cream called Extreme Absorption.
“A normal salve is carried with a hemp oil or a coconut oil, some sort of fat since CBD is fat soluble,” Paul said. “With a transdermal cream, it’s designed to be like skin, essentially, so it absorbs to your skin much better.”
A large, which is 2 ounces of 1,000 mg, is $85, and a 1 ounce of 500 mg is $50.
The shop also has salves, lotions and CBD bath bombs made by Chris’ girlfriend. Paul said the skin care products help with moisturizing and repair.
There are four CBD oil brands available at the shop, including The CBD Cellar, which is their own, a THC-free version of Koi CBD, flavored tinctures from Green Crown, which is out of Dousman, and Charlotte’s Web.
The shop sells Funky Farms powdered drink packets, which Paul said give a little bit of energy and a little bit of CBD, and two kinds of ECOSHOTS, one that relaxes and another that boosts energy.
Products for dogs include soft chews and bacon-flavored CBD oil, which are each $30.
The shop has a whole side dedicated to edible products, like teas, Green Crown Swedish fish, gummy bears from CBD Hemp Edibles, and chocolate and honey from Cedarburg’s Verdure.
The business continues to sell at farmers markets in Greendale, Milaeger’s in Racine, West Racine and Lake Geneva.
Paul said they plan to open more stores in the future.
“It’s awesome to see the boys really putting their heart and soul into this,” Marlene said. “They really enjoy this, and they love helping people and seeing how it is helping people.”
The Bruno’s businesses
ADDRESS: The Village CBD Shoppe, 5632 Parking St., Greendale, and The CBD Cellar, 5328 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee
Range: From $5 for Funky Farms powdered drink packets to $85 for a large Extreme Absorption transdermal cream
PHONE: The Village CBD Shoppe: 414-421-0200, and The CBD Cellar: 414-239-8199
HOURS: The Village CBD Shoppe is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The CBD Cellar is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Contact Hannah Kirby at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.
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