Flavr Vapor Lounge is a premium vape shop located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The lounge’s history begins back in the fall of 2013 with a Florida business trip. During their trip, business partners and longtime smokers Bobby Deraco and Aimee Urban, had their first vaping experience. They were set up with starter kits, and although they were skeptical at first, both successfully quit smoking shortly thereafter. Once they knew how well vaping could work for those who wanted to quit smoking, they decided to open a shop to help their community and even save lives. With that, the Flavr Vapor Lounge was born.
The one of a kind lounge offers hand-picked products, a tasting lounge, knowledgeable staff, and vape events. With only one location, the staff really pours a lot back into it. “We started out with the intentions of expanding to additional locations right away, but then decided to make our current location as great as possible for our customers before we open up another location,” explains general manager Evan Urban.
“Our philosophy is to make this one location the best it can be, and it shows. We’ve been open for about two years now and our customer base continues to expand on a weekly basis,” continues Evan.
The Flavr Vapor Lounge attributes a large part of its success to the people behind the counter. “We have a wide variety of people here with all different types of personalities and backgrounds, but they are all excellent when it comes to customer service and are some of the most knowledgeable industry professionals I know,” says Evan.
The atmosphere was also very important to the owners when setting up the shop. The self-serve lounge creates an environment that is pressure-free and relaxing. Customers can hang out in big comfy chairs and watch TV while sampling new flavors and browsing the menu. “Everything is color coded so customers can go through and try things at their own pace. It takes the pressure off, and lets the customers choose how they want to experience the lounge,” says Evan. When the TV is off, customers can enjoy music throughout the shop as well.
Another important factor in Flavr’s success is that no two trips to Flavr are ever the same. “We put a lot of time into our product research process. We are in this business to help people and we put a lot of our profit back into the experience. We travel the country and go to shows to learn about new products and ideas we can bring back to our shop,” says Evan. “When we go to these shows, we spend about three or four days learning about products and building personal relationships with vendors. We know the faces behind everything we carry in the shop and that has been a really cool aspect of opening a vapor lounge,” he continues.
In addition to the care placed on finding products, the lounge spends a lot of time testing and examining which juices to carry as well. “When we test flavors, we all sit down together as a group and give opinions on each one. We each rank the juice on a ten-point scale based on marketing materials, design of the packaging, quality and flavor. We also let some of our regular customers test new flavors as well. We do keep the basics on the shelf – the brands and flavors that that are really popular, but we also choose to carry things customers haven’t heard of before. We love getting in new samples from companies we have never heard of and having them turn into best sellers in our shop. We give everyone a chance to be on our shelves,” explains Evan. The shop also carries Flavr Exclusives which includes lines like Chosen One Vapors and others coming soon.
Besides carrying great products and creating a relaxing atmosphere, Flavr Vapor Lounge also holds monthly events to give back to their customers. “We hold cloud competitions where we give really great prizes away for the top three spots and we also offer store prizes just for showing up as well. Our biggest competition had close to thirty competitors and with all the spectators, we really packed the shop. With these events, we really get the community involved and get more time to form relationships and give back to the people who make Flavr successful,” says Evan.
When Flavr first opened they wanted to look into offering a rewards program to make sure they were not only offering the best products but also amazing deals. What they found was that a lot of vapor shops today use a punch card type system to offer rewards. Flavr decided that they wanted to be a little bit different, so they started their own program for rewards called Flavr Club.
“The Flavr Club offers special discounts to those that sign up. It’s completely free and notifies customers of specials, deals and discounts directly to their email a few times a month. Customers get a 10% off coupon just for signing up. The emails outline the details and dates of the specials and sales. The Flavr Club lets customers try things they might not normally try or be able to buy at prices that are too good to turn down,” explains Evan. New to the shop are keychain tags for the Flavr Club members that will offer instant specials and savings when they stop in and track purchases. Then, every six months, members will get cash back based on what they have spent to use towards future Flavr purchases.
With employees who love what they do, an inviting atmosphere, tons of great products, monthly events, and a unique rewards program, it’s no wonder Flavr Vapor Lounge has found continual success.
“We all absolutely love vaping and we don’t want to see it go anywhere. We follow the industry really closely, take time to study trends, and we are all very active in advocacy and working hard to keep what we do around. We put a lot of effort into making sure we are always improving,” says Evan.
If you find your shop struggling, Evan’s advice is to not give up. “Sometimes it just takes one new product or juice line to bring in the traffic that you need. Take the time and the effort to do some research on what is out there blowing up the industry. Always be looking for something that is going to separate you from your competition. Find a way to be different like we did with our Flavr Club or juice selection. Social media is a great way to stay up to date with trends. Staying active online can really give your shop a leg up on competition,” says Evan.
Flavr operates on the motto that sometimes you have to give a little to get a little. “Give things away for free, hold exclusive events in your shop, and give back to the people who keep your doors open. Give back to your community,” he continues.
With that recipe for success, failure is not an option.
To stay up to date with Flavr events, deals and news follow them on Instagram @flavrvapor, on twitter @flavrvapor, search for Flavr Vapor Lounge on Facebook or visit www.flavrvapor.com. SVBS