SEATTLE — There’s a reason why Zoots products can be found behind the counters of almost every state-licensed recreational marijuana retailer. Actually, there are three reasons: Dan, Michael and Patrick Devlin. Together the three Devlin brothers put a lifetime worth of business experience into creating Db³, Washington’s most prolific edibles producer and processor.
It started with Michael Devlin, who had more than 30 years of experience with food manufacturing for giants like Oberto, Sahale Snacks and Frito Lay. When Initiative 502 passed, Michael immediately saw the similarities between producing high-end snack goods and cannabis-infused edibles. Together with his brother Patrick, who was the director of operations at a marketing and research firm, and his oldest brother Dan, who had overseen a series of small businesses openings, they formed Zoots’ parent company, Db³, over the course of Thanksgiving dinner 2012.
“It was exciting,” Patrick said. “Both Dan and I have extensive business development experience. We have a lot of experience knowing how organizations come together and with Mike’s technical knowledge, we formed a company.”
Dan, being the oldest of the three brothers, was on the verge of retirement before he was convinced by his two younger siblings to help start Db³. “Dan is an entrepreneur,” Patrick said. “He started out with K2 Skis, then started a series of businesses and worked with those. Dan has an MBA from Harvard, so he brings a lot of business development knowledge.”
In spite of numerous delays and changing requirements from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, Db³ was licensed as the first edibles processor in Washington. Their products, ZootRocks, ZootDrops and ZootBlast were made available to consumers on Oct. 10, 2013.
Today, the company is found in 55 stores across Washington and aims to be on shelves of 70 stores by the end of February.
“We just want to have Zoots available in every store,” he said. “One of our commitments to retailers is that once we go into a store, then they would never run out. We would always support them.”