The doors of South Fork Vapors opened just this year on July 3rd and the team behind the Oneida Tennessee vapor shop has been on the fast track to success ever since.
“I was a smoker for 46 years,” begins Kevin Bishop, owner of South Fork Vapors, “I tried patches, I tried gum, I tried the lozenges, and I even tried hypnosis. However, I always went back to smoking.”
After trying a few different types of e-cigs without luck, Kevin came across a vaporizer at a flea market in Knoxville Tennessee that worked really well for him for three weeks, until it abruptly stopped working.
“As a smoker of course I freaked out and ran out to get some cigarettes. And this is when something amazing happened. I took a drag of my cigarette and about puked. It was nasty; it didn’t feel right going down. So I tried a second drag and it was equally as nasty as the first, so I put it out and that was the last one I’ve touched,” says Kevin.
“I’m just really excited about how well vaping works. There’s no reason to smoke cigarettes anymore,” he explains, “I’ve reduced my nicotine intake by half – if not more at this point and I will get to zero in my own time.”
After realizing that death by cigarettes and lung cancer was not the way he wanted to go, Kevin knew he could help others quit smoking the way he had helped himself. With that, South Fork Vapors was born.
South Fork Vapors is all about customer service; it’s what defines them. “I’ve got a bar in the shop and we sit down with customers one-on-one and we talk. We talk about what they smoke. We talk how much they smoke. And we talk about the dangers of smoking. Every customer that comes in here gets a lecture – because they need it,” explains Kevin.
South Fork Vapors has the answer to an alternative for cigarettes, but more importantly, they have the knowledge and experience to tell you why you need to quit smoking and to help you accomplish that goal. From helping you choose what flavor of juice fits you best, to what kind of equipment and batteries you need, Kevin and the staff of South Fork Vapors are there to help each customer find exactly what he or she needs to kick their smoking habit for good.
“We customize each customer’s e-cig to them, we work with them if they need it. I’ll spend 30 minutes to three hours with people. We do whatever it takes and customers appreciate that. We work until we get it right. I honestly want them to quit smoking,” Kevin explains.
“It’s our personal level of customer service and the fact that I truly want to help our customers, that keeps people coming back and keeps our store successful. I want to make a living doing this, but the main reason I opened the store was to help people who want to quit smoking,” says Kevin.
“All we want to do is help – that’s why we’re here,” says Kevin, “In fact, since we’ve opened, I’ve lost customers. I lose customers every day because they quit smoking and then eventually quit vaping and that makes me happy.”
However, business doesn’t end there. Those who have been successful in kicking their habits refer friends and the cycle starts over – and it all begins with South Fork Vapors.
The Tennessee vapor shop has also been successful in the industry is because they choose to carry only the highest of quality when it comes to their products. There weren’t any options for quality equipment in the area before South Fork Vapors, or within an hour and a half drive, so Kevin knew he could help out his town with a vapor shop and his knowledge about vaping.
He spent months coming up with a business plan that lead the Oneida store to success. From Internet research, to talking with vendors and personally conducting taste tests, Kevin and the South Fork staff have it figured out when it comes to products and inventory.
“We tried over 30 different liquids from different places and we dripped until we all about puked. We can honestly say we’ve tried everything,” Kevin laughs, “we rated them on everything from flavor to vapor production and even packaging. We had a whole list of things we kept track of for each brand.”
When it comes to e-liquid Kevin only carries the best. They could make a lot more money selling cheaper liquid and telling customers it was just as good as the top brands, but that’s not what they believe in or who they are as a store.
“I know better than to do that, and that’s not the way I would want to be treated as a customer,” explains Kevin. Kevin makes sure that every person that comes in the store isn’t leaving with more than they need.
“I expand my inventory all the time, but I’ve got my staples. Liquids are extremely important. We want to be healthy here; we don’t want pesticide grade ingredients. We want all natural,” says Kevin.
When you visit South Fork Vapors you know you’re going to receive a quality product.
“Nothing I have in here is cheap,” explains Kevin, “it’s all high quality equipment. I know that my e-juices are coming from an ISO certified laboratory using pharmaceutical grade ingredients. And it all comes in a high density pharmaceutical grade bottle – it’s the quality stuff.”
Looking forward to the future, the store is planning on some expansion. The new location will be aimed towards dripping customers, those who want to blow big clouds and vape to impress. The top-notch customer service and product quality standards that South Fork Vapors set for themselves will of course be maintained in all future locations.
“It’s a passion of mine,” says Kevin, “I’m still amazed every day that I don’t smoke a cigarette. I want to bring that amazement and success of not smoking to other people. Will it work for everyone? No. Will it work for someone who truly wants to quit smoking? Yes.”
When it comes to being successful, South Fork Vapors has it figured out. By holding themselves to the highest of standards when it comes to customer service and what products they choose to carry in their store, they definitely come out on top. The staff at the Tennessee vapor shop truly cares about the health of every customer that walks through their doors.
“I have not sold anything to anyone who just wants to try it. I’ll talk them out of it. I mean Nicotine is a drug and you should not be putting it in your body just for fun. I don’t kick people out of my store or anything, but I do make them think,” explains Kevin.
Going above and beyond what is expected is how South Fork Vapors operates. They stress the importance of customer care to employees, carry top shelf products, and care about the overall health of their community. With that formula, failure just isn’t an option. SSA