Halo Retailer Spotlight: The Vape Place of Mount Juliet, TN

Halo Retailer Spotlight: The Vape Place of Mount Juliet, TN

Carl Groll opened a vaping business only to have it shut down by lightning just days later. Before long The Vape Place was up and running again and selling 100 e-liquid flavors with great success …

Halo: Where did your store name “The Vape Place” come from?

Carl: Everybody has so many creative names; I just wanted it to be simple. When people talk about where they go, they just go to “The Vape Place.” I thought, I’ll just name mine that. That way, when they say they were there, then they really were. (laughs)

Halo: How long have you been in business?

Carl: (November 2016) is just the beginning of our fifth month. We started a store originally in May but it was only open three days and then lightning struck the building we were in, the mall. It put us out of business. We started back over in July. We’re really brand new.

Fortunately we had insurance. We still lost a lot. My wife and I, we were just pretty committed to going forward with it. We just went ahead and kept going and really we’re glad we did. It’s just getting to that point where it’s starting to pay off.

Halo: Why did you start selling vape products?

Carl: I’m probably like the majority of people that are in the vape business. I stopped smoking and had promised my wife I would quit before I turned 50. It was such an amazing, easy way to quit smoking. I felt so much better, so I knew it would help people. I was inspired when I was able to quit smoking. That’s my main motivation.

We’re not so geared up hardware-wise for the “toolbag” consumers. We have great liquid, and of course coils and supplies, but our main business is beginner to intermediate.

Halo: What do you like best about selling vape products?

Carl: To me it’s almost a mission. I feel like every time I see someone walk through this parking lot — we’re in a big grocery store shopping center — every time I see anybody smoking anywhere, I just want to grab them and tell them, “Please come in my store.” That’s why I do it. Vaping is such a simple alternative. I’m just really trying to change people’s habits and get them looking at a different lifestyle.

Halo: What’s special about The Vape Place?

The thing we try to do to set us apart, is we try to have the best liquid flavors that we can find. We’re not really a one-room hangout that’s going to be all smoky. Most of my customers are women from the shopping center that come in. I don’t really feel like they want to walk into a giant cloud. Especially if they don’t vape and they’re just curious. So we try to keep the front of the store really clean. We just want it to be real user-friendly for the beginner. When you walk in it looks probably more like a jewelry store than a vape store.

We’ve got a lounge in the back that’s got a 120-inch TV, foosball, darts, PlayStation, Xboxes, and couches. I really built that so the people that are buying stuff and want to check it out have got a place to relax and they can blow all the clouds they want back here. It’s almost like two stores in one. The back end looks like your bonus room at home or your mancave. We obviously don’t charge anything if people want to come back here, so we have a lot of people that just come in, walk right past, and say, “Hey, I’m going to go play some Call of Duty.” I say, “Great. Have fun.” We don’t care. It also gives us a place to do events, little cloud competitions, and things like that.

Halo: What’s your customers’ favorite Halo flavor?

Carl: Tribeca and Torque 56. These are really the ones that are knocking it out of the park for me. Tribeca is probably one of the best-selling out of every flavor I’ve got in this store. We’ve now got probably close to 100 flavors. Halo is one of those brands that you just know people are going to come in and buy what they’re used to. (laughs) They’re just happy with it. It’s the most consistent liquid I have as far as day in, day out (sales). It’s just a great line.

Halo: What’s the first/most common question The Vape Place customers ask?

Carl: They’re just curious about how the things work. They don’t think they can wrap their head around how an electronic cigarette can work. Obviously, they want to try it to compare it to smoking. Cost is always a big factor. It’s funny, people will spend $65 on a carton of cigarettes, but they don’t want to spend $40 on a decent mod. It’s getting them to understand that it’s a viable, real thing. That they need to just take the plunge.

Halo: Do you vape?

Carl: Absolutely. About six years (now). I never smoked again once I started vaping.

Halo: What does vaping mean to you?

Carl: I’m on a much, much lower nicotine level now. I’m on a 3 mg, maybe a 6 sometimes. I’m still addicted to nicotine, I still vape for that. I do enjoy it. I guess you can get nicotine from patches or gum or anything else. There’s just something that’s satisfying about vaping that was satisfying about smoking in the first place.

Halo: What’s your favorite Halo flavor?

Carl: I like the Kringle’s Curse, and then a couple of newer flavors. Halo is hands down my go-to liquid for those people that I built this store for. I don’t really do much tobacco (e-liquid) but there are some new flavors that I really like that are more the fruity-type flavors. (eVo’s) Cobalt Crush, that’s been a really good one. And there’s a peach flavor, (eVo’s) Fuzzy Summer. Even though I haven’t carried those, I’m going to carry those as we expand our juice lines. I think some of the newer flavors that Halo’s come out with are fantastic, because everyone equates Halo with tobacco. I think that’s the reputation that Halo has. Of course, they have great tobacco. But I think these other flavors will do a lot for Halo.

Halo: Do you think the public has misconceptions about vaping?

Carl: Sure they do, (and) rightly so. When the federal government comes in basically telling people not to vape and go back to smoking, that’ll give you some concerns. I think there’s a terrible movement to basically reverse all the good that’s come about with vaping. I had a nurse come in one day buying some liquid, and she said something about, “I’m getting this for a friend, even though I know it’s a lot worse for you than smoking.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about?” That’s from a medical professional that still believes vaping is worse than smoking.

So much could be done if we had a green light and the government would leave things alone. Figure out a way to tax it and leave us alone. There’s definitely misconceptions, but I think a lot of it is put out there almost on purpose. Anybody that researches it will find the truth.

Halo: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Carl: The whole (Halo) organization is just really good to work with. If I see that it’s you guys calling, I’m going to pick up the phone. (laughs) (Your) customer service, I guess the way I’d categorize it, it’s about right. Not too much, not too little. Y’all are there when I need you but you don’t bother me when I don’t. I really appreciate Halo. I appreciate Nicopure for all they’ve done, you know, with this FDA fight. That means a lot to all of us that own vape stores that you kind of got out there and started fighting for the industry. That goes a long way with me.

The Vape Place is located at 4124 North Mount Juliet Road in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Please stop by and visit when you’re in town!


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