BY JULIA SAVIGNANO | Images courtesy of Rose Delights
Each new Rose Delights recipe begins as do the best meals: at the farmer’s market, mingling with partnering farmers, and seeing what’s most enticing this season.
After all, one of the core values of Rose is that, just maybe, fruit shouldn’t have to travel on planes. “The idea of a fruit on a plane is kind of a cartoon comedy to us,” co-founder Nathan Cozzolino quips. “What are we doing with it on a plane? It’s grown on the ground, and it should be nearby. So we’ve structured every recipe and all of our business around that and eliminated any recipes that require packaged produce that comes from far away.”
That’s right, you’re still reading about a cannabis edible.
Rose was started in 2017 by veteran cannabis sourcer Nathan Cozzolino and creative director Scott Barry of Sqirl and PlantPaper renown. They came together with a vision of what a contemporary edible could look like: lovingly crafted, respectful of the earth, with a focus on simplicity and quality of ingredients. From their early days squatting in a kitchen in Desert Hot Springs to an office in South Central Los Angeles—and now their current studio in the Mission in San Francisco—Rose’s approach has always been holistic, intentional, and indeed, culinary.
The Rose Delights take the form of Turkish delight-style treats, which prove to be perfect vehicles for endless flavor experimentation, unified by a satisfying chew. And the cannabis infusion? Just one single-strain whole-flower rosin, hand-pressed and solventless—heirloom, sun-grown, beyond the catchphrase “entourage effect” and more in the territory of DOP EVOO or prestige appellation champagne, preserving all traces of terroir like a snapshot in time.
A single box of delights reveals a surreal amount of consideration into each new flavor, or as they call them, “recipes.” Not only are they snapshots of the Earth’s conditions, but also the relationships made along the way, with like-minded fruit farmers, cannabis cultivators, and internationally renowned chefs. The perennial recipes are reliably delicious—Rose Hibiscus, Alphonso Mango, and the newest addition, Apple Ume Ginger, with infused rosin choices of indica, sativa, hybrid, or even CBD-only.
However, the most spectacular are the limited-run seasonal recipes, the boxes playfully designed by Scott Barry, with embossing, tie-dye, drawings, and graphics galore. It’s a jaw-dropping list of award-winning chefs who have collaborated on recipes: Chef Nicole Rucker (Former pastry chef of Gjelina group), three-Michelin-starred Chef Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), Chef Tara Thomas (Executive Chef of Che), and more recently, Chef Enrique Olvera (Pujol, Cosme, Atla, and more), who we had the pleasure of interviewing. The fruit and flower is always center stage, though, with dazzling names like “Autumn Bright Nectarine with Juniper Berry from Starwest Botanicals, infused with Aster Farms Blood Orange Flower Rosin.” You could almost call it intimidating, like high fashion drops, if the Rose team weren’t so community-minded and wholesome about it!
At the end of the day, it’s all about the relationships and the evolving community collaborations. In the post-Prop 215, and now, post-Prop 64 cannabis space, bustling with industrial ventures, Rose stands out—not with tech innovations, but with craftsmanship, complex storytelling, and soul, communicated via iconic design. Scott likens the design process for the boxes to the collaborations on the delights themselves, for they are “all touching someone else, or passing through someone else, whether it’s a typeface from a friend, a graphic, or nodding to something historical. It’s always trying to innovate and reference something, moving backwards and moving forwards at the same time.”
It goes without saying, this translates to the flower. Nathan, who has witnessed over 20 years of experience in the field, explains that one of Rose’s guiding missions is “to give to cannabis, not take from cannabis.” The commitment to regenerative agriculture comes from their deep beliefs in respecting the Earth and its natural processes. Thus, each recipe draws from relationships with dedicated growers in California who have cultivated and cared for the cannabis plant for years.
Collaborating with longtime biodynamic growers who share these values yields certain benefits as well. Like winemakers tending to their grapes, these caretakers are keenly attuned to the terroir of their flowers. The happy buds, which could be described as heirloom varietals, are guided towards expressing a glorious range of exciting terpenic profiles and cannabinoids. When the whole flower is harvested and brought to Rose, it is laid out between two steel plates and manually pressed at 5000 pounds per square inch, resulting in a rich gold-green oil, also known as whole-flower rosin, its entire spectrum of flavorful and beneficial properties preserved.
It’s an ode to cannabis the way it used to be, but with some curatorial flourishes. Hand-pressed rosin is, in fact, one of the oldest methods of concentrating the flower—Rose is just the first to do so commercially. There’s a strange comfort in knowing this, and a pleasure that feels grounded when eating the delights. As Nathan muses, “The things we do for ourselves are always the best, because they’re expressions of self-care.”
So what’s next on the horizon? Taking the subtractive design process one step further, Rose is launching Singles—a microdose take on cannabis edibles. Shaped like half-moons, each Single contains the same high-quality recipe, but is infused with just a single(!) milligram of flower rosin. It’s the perfect introduction, or re-introduction, to edibles for the cannabis-sensitive. In classic Rose style, the Singles are radical in their simplicity. Like an afternoon tea or a glass of wine at dinner, the Singles nudge at a subtle shift in mood and mental state. It’s the frontier of holistic integration of cannabis in everyday life, part of a daily practice, a relationship between human to plant.