Ragin’ Vapors...no smoke, no fire
By Beth Volpert Johansen
Long ago, in downtown Grayson there existed a store where people would congregate, have a soda, smoke a few cigarettes and exchange the news of the day.
Patrons could relax for a few minutes around the warmth of the stove and then be on their way. Ragin’ Vapors offers customers a glimpse of that camaraderie in a comfortable lounge where they can relax among friends, but without the smoke.
“People love it here,” says co-owner Crystal Buhler. “We have a retro aspect to our lounge where people can hang out together - it’s nice.” Customers can’t help but be drawn into the huge leather couches centered around classic gaming consoles. There’s also seating at tables where customers drop by with their lunch and spend some time relaxing while participating in “cloud chasing”- by forcing the water vapor into the air in a form that looks like clouds in the sky.
While “cloud chasing” is the hobby end of vaping, Corey and Crystal Buhler emphasize the benefits of quitting tobacco use by using vaping. Located behind the counter is a tobacco graveyard of sorts where customers tag their last pack or can with the day they traded in for vaping. “This started with my dad,” says Corey. “He smoked for 35 years and one day, about four years ago, he quit using vaping.” The method interested Corey and Crystal, so, along with Corey’s mom, Mindy, the family began researching and building their own business.
“What makes us unique, is that we have our own dedicated room where we develop our own juice flavors and build our own coils,” says Crystal. “We have enjoyed learning the science behind the product.” The science includes a little bit of psychology and the need for a support system. “When you vape, you have control over how much nicotine you want and can taper down from where you were when smoking cigarettes,” says Corey. “Here, we have a very loyal culture that caters to adults who want to wean themselves off cigarettes or maybe enjoy the hobby aspect of vaping.”
“You have to face it, cigarettes are a social tool,” says Corey. “I know first-hand that without vaping, I would go right back to cigarettes.” Both Corey and Crystal find that helping someone along their journey from tobacco to vapor is very satisfying. As former smokers, the pair find that the alternative to cigarettes as a hobby is far better than smoking and as a job, it has been amazing. “Owning businesses with family isn’t always easy, but I love working with my husband and mother-in-law,” says Crystal. “It’s 98% love and about 2% shake.” Corey laughs at her synopsis and agrees with his wife. “That about sums it up!”
Corey and Crystal plan several Black Friday events and sales in the store and encourage anyone who wants to check out vaping as a cigarette alternative or hobby, to visit the store. “We have an amazing team who know this industry and are prepared to answer any questions,” says Corey. “Come hang out with us - no smoke, no fire.”