Halo Retailer Spotlight: Zootie’s Vapors of Paeonian Springs, VA

Halo Retailer Spotlight: Zootie’s Vapors of Paeonian Springs, VA

After 25 years as a cigarette smoker, Eric “Zootie” Sutton became a born-again vaper and went into the business. He strongly believes that the best customer is an educated customer.

Halo: How long have you been in business?

Eric: I started Zootie’s Vapors in August of 2014 as a distribution company. We partnered with Vaperz Cloud and quickly built up a positive reputation in the vaping community. In April of 2015, we opened our first vape (shop) in Paeonian Springs, Virginia. The “Fog Cabin” is a small, 200-square-foot shop in Loudoun County, Virginia’s popular wine country. Our cabin got its name because it is literally an 1800s-era log cabin that was relocated from historic Lovettsville, Virginia in the 1970s.

In September of 2016, we opened another location in Hagerstown, Maryland on Dual Highway. With over 1200 square feet, this shop has a huge bar with seating and a comfortable lounge.

Halo: Where did the name Zootie’s Vapors come from?

Eric: Zootie was a nickname given to me back in the early 2000s when I was doing IT work in Belgium. The rest of the story is one we can have over a beer or three.

Halo: Do you have more than one location?

Eric: Yes. We have two locations. One on Charles Town Pike in Loudoun County, Virginia and our second on Dual Highway in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Halo: Why did you start selling vape products?

Eric: After being a dual user for a couple years, vaping helped me totally quit cigarettes. After testing the waters with hardware distribution early, we transitioned our business into brick and mortar retail to increase brand awareness and exposure. Our goal has always been to focus on superior customer service, help smokers discover vaping in a no-pressure, non-judgmental environment, and serve our community with education, advocacy, and support.

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

Eric: I love when a customer finds the right product for them and they come back singing the praises of vaping. Seeing them experience first-hand a reduction in the harm associated with smoking traditional cigarettes and enjoy what vaping has done for them, is very rewarding.

Halo: What’s special about Zootie’s Vapors?

Eric: I’ve touched on this with other questions, but we pride ourselves as a five-star vape shop. We want people to feel comfortable in our shop, whether they are an absolute beginner all the way to the advanced vaping crowd. We focus on education, advocacy, and being friendly and approachable. Our goal is to have people leave our shop wanting to tell others about us and win them over as repeat customers. We only carry the best flavors of e-liquid from the most reputable companies and do our best to help our customers get the right products for them.

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

Eric: Halo for us is the perfect tobacco and menthol brand. Flavors like Tribeca, Turkish Tobacco, and SubZero are top sellers in those categories in both of my retail shops.

Halo: What’s the first/most common question customers ask you?

Eric: Most Zootie’s Vapors customers ask for advice and recommendations on flavors and hardware. The first question is usually what new flavors do we have in stock, or what are the best sellers. We also help many new users that ask for a dependable starter kit.

Halo: Do you vape?

Eric: Yes.

Halo: For how long?

Eric: I started vaping in 2012. I was a dual user for a couple years after smoking for over 25 years and as much as three packs of cigarettes a day. My last cigarette was in 2014. I’ve gone through all phases of vaping from the high-nic beginner pen, to the cloud-chasing tube and mech mods, and now I’m into flavor tanks at moderate wattage.

Halo: What does vaping mean to you?

Eric: I see vaping as a huge public health benefit. We know smoking kills. Vaping can be a great way for people to quit and possibly reverse some of the harm associated with smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. It’s important that our government recognizes this as beneficial technology and allows scientists to continue researching and conducting studies on the effectiveness in terms of quitting as well as the risks/benefits.

Halo: What’s your favorite Halo flavor?

Eric: I’m a fan of Kringle’s Curse. Maybe it’s my long white beard saying this, but I love the refreshing and cooling peppermint flavor.

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

Eric: Absolutely. I read a study that reported more than half of all smokers believe vaping is worse than cigarette smoking. There is also a public appearance based on a very small percentage of vapers giving the industry a bad name. From people not educating themselves on safety and proper use and having catastrophic failures, all the way to disrespectful vapers clouding out public and private spaces, they aren’t helping us fight the good fight.

Also, the misinformation and lies that are being told and spread makes it very difficult to change people’s opinions. We always try to provide our customers with the most current and correct information so they can be more educated when talking within their networking circle and help reverse some of the negativity surrounding vaping.

Stop in and see Eric at Zootie’s Vapors in Paeonian Springs, Virginia or Hagerstown, Maryland!

 

DISCLAIMER: Testimonials appearing on halocigs.com are intended to represent actual experiences of individuals who have used our products. They are presented solely as the experiences of those individuals. We do not claim that the testimonials reflect an experience that any other individual or consumer may have or expect. Further, the testimonials are presented as they are provided to us by the author, except to edit for length, relevancy, or correction of minor errors. Halocigs.com is not a public forum for testimonials. All testimonials appear only after they have been reviewed and approved by our staff and are intended solely as a means for people to share their individual experiences with one another. Our company may not share the opinions or views of any of the testimonials presented and we are not responsible for the actual opinions or comments posted. We make no claim that our products treat tobacco dependence or help people quit tobacco use. Our products are not smoking cessation products and have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other regulatory agency. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease or condition and the testimonials presented are not intended to make such claims.

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