Saratoga’s First Vape Shop and Lounge Now Open
BALLSTON SPA – The Capital Region’s newest smokeless-smoke shop is open for business.
Saratoga Vapes, located at 2124 Doubleday Avenue in Ballston Spa, has been welcoming customers for just over a month. The store sells a variety of e-cigarettes – battery-powered devices that vaporize liquid nicotine – along with related equipment, supplies and more than 45 different varieties of liquid.
Owners and cousins, Mike Davidson and Jason Woods, say the shop and lounge cater to a wide range of customers, from those just attempting to quit smoking to more seasoned vapers.
“We’re taking things that are already FDA-approved for inhalation, adding nicotine and flavor and giving you a less harmful way of satisfying nicotine cravings for people who are smokers,” said Woods. “Even for people who aren’t smokers, we can provide non-nicotine options for them.”
“Instead of the thousands of harmful ingredients that are found in traditional cigarettes, an electronic cigarette is basically liquid that’s vaporized with some flavoring in it,” said Davidson.
Along the line of vaping supplies, the liquid carried at Saratoga Vapes have child-proof caps and customers can find a variety of products on the shelves from entry-level kits for beginners and more advanced vapors and tanks as well.
Davidson and Woods are former smokers who say e-cigarettes helped them curb their nicotine cravings. Because you control how much or how little nicotine you want in your e-cigarette, the business owners say it satisfies the habit.
“That’s why a lot of people who struggle with the more traditional ways of quitting smoking, like the gum or the patch, prefer electronic cigarettes,” said Davidson. “It’s about replacing the habit with something that’s not nearly as bad for you.”
Aside from featuring vaping supplies, Saratoga Vapes boasts couches, tables, a large TV and a tasting area, so customers are encouraged to hang out and relax. The last Saturday of every month, the store will feature live music performances and host a “cloud competition,” where vapers compete to see who can blow the biggest cloud of vapor.
“We want people to not feel rushed and what we’re pushing for is great customer service,” said Woods. “That’s a lot of the reason why we opened the store…that’s what we’re striving for. We want you to leave here not with what we want you to have, but what you want to have. Something customized how you want it to be, whether its flavor, clouds, size of the device, the looks of it, or anything and we want you to fully understand it when you leave.”
With customer service in mind, Davidson and Woods hired a knowledgeable staff that are experienced vapers and can help educate customers about the hobby in general.
“I use that term a lot – hobby – it becomes a hobby more than anything else once you get into it,” said Davidson. “We want people to have a place that’s not just a retail store, but a place where you can talk to people who are also into vaping and share experiences.”
While Saratoga Vapes has only been open a little over a month, Davidson and Woods already have some goals for the future. The duo says by this time next year, they hope to have a second location open and have their 18 different Saratoga Vapes liquids carried in 5 to 10 locations. It’s currently carried at Tobacco World in South Glens Falls and at Saratoga Vapes, of course.
Aside from business goals, more importantly, the two hope to help others to curb their cravings for traditional cigarettes.
“With both of us being former smokers, this is a life changer and a game changer for us,” said Woods. “It worked for us and we want to share that with people.”
Saratoga Vapes is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.