With locations in Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove, Minnesota, eCig Market was quick to make a name for themselves in the industry. The Minnesota vapor shop is known today for its collection of premium eliquids. They offer a selection of over 90 brands and roughly 300 flavors. The shop pays close attention to quality, education, and customer service – just a few of the things that have made them such a success.
In 2013, after having some additional cash from moving and selling their previous house, Andrew Alshous, his wife Jennifer, and their son Brandon began to seriously consider the idea of opening their own vapor shop. Brandon had been vaping for a few months and successfully left cigarettes behind. Vaping and eCig education quickly became a passion for Andrew and Brandon.
“When we first opened the shop in Brooklyn Park, Brandon ran it on his own for over a year until I decided to quit my day job due to the growth we were seeing in the shop,” recalls Andrew.
When they first opened, the family owned shop offered about 40 flavors of eliquid they made themselves in house. Access to premium juice was difficult in Minnesota, so making their own was the best way to achieve the quality they wanted to give their customers. As time went on the day to day operations of maintaining the juice line and operating the store became a little too time consuming. Additionally, at the same time, premium juice was getting easier to find so they decided to step away from their juice line and focus solely on making the shop the best it could be.
“After we had more time to invest in the store, that’s when it really started to take off. We then remodeled the place. We put in a huge bar with beautiful granite countertops and redid the entire inside. We spent a lot of time researching premium juice and began building up our inventory. Today we have roughly 300 flavors for customers to choose from – which is what has really made us stand out from other vapor shops,” says Andrew.
The Minnesota shop is serious about the juice they carry. They only allow juice from vendors with all the require credentials and licenses. After receiving samples, Andrew and Brandon personally vape on them for a week or so with different devices to form an overall verdict on whether each flavor will make it to their shelves.
“We take pride in having an excellent offering for our customers. We spend a lot of our time researching, sampling, and testing – which is something I think our regulars have come to really appreciate,” he continues.
When customers walk into eCig Market, they will notice that all the flavors are on the bar in testers which helps them feel more at ease knowing they are being encouraged to find what juice is best for them. All the displays on the bar are designed and 3D printed in house.
The shop has three 3D printers that were used make the tiered displays, the tank and mod holders, the pricing displays, and other presentation features in the shop. It took all three printers about 5 months working 24 hours a day to print everything that is seen in the shop. The 3D modeling and printing is done by Andrew who has an extensive background as a software engineer.
When customers come into the shop they are given the red-carpet treatment. The shop invested in high quality tester tanks so that customers sampling can get a true sense of each flavor and have a good overall experience.
“Because our offering is so large and also ever-changing, it can be overwhelming so we make sure to take the time to help customers through the process of finding a juice if they need help. We have customers sit down and talk about what flavors they usually like so that we can pull a few ideas for them based on their preferences. We work as vapetenders in a sense. We know all of our flavors personally, so we can help our customers find exactly what they need,” explains Andrew.
At eCig Market, they attribute their attention to detail in service as one of the biggest factors in their success. They not only want to find the best possible option for each person that walks through their doors, but they honestly enjoy the process of helping someone sift through the available options. The same goes for the hardware in the shop as well. When a customer buys a kit, a staff member of the Minnesota shop will always offer to help set it up and show them exactly how it works.
“We want our customers to know how to use the hardware safety and correctly, so we spend the time to help them – if they need it – before they leave. It’s important to us that the customer knows exactly how to use their new product. We don’t want them to go home and guess how to put it together or how it works because we are here to do that for them if they need it,” he continues.
The family owned shop also understands that there is no such thing as a perfect product and will gladly assist customers who return with broken or faulty parts.