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Chester County Press

Top Grade Vapors celebrates opening of a second location in Kennett Square

07/27/2015 12:56PM ● By Steven Hoffman


The success of Top Grade Vapors store in Oxford prompted owner Bill Nichols to look for a second location in southern Chester County. He found the ideal spot for a new shop in the Minnie’s Square shopping center at 625 East Cypress Street in Kennett Square, and on July 23, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place to celebrate the official grand opening.

“Oxford has really developed a strong customer base,” Nichols said, “and we’re pleased to expand to Kennett Square.”

The Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce was well-represented at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, with Melissa Kratz, the chamber’s member services manager, joined by Judith Lee, the chair-elect for the chamber, and Barbara Bolton and Jen Minicozzi, two chamber members.

Lee talked about how pleased the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce is to add Top Grade Vapors to the growing number of businesses in the Kennett Square area.

“We’re happy to have them,” Lee said. “Our Chamber thrives with new businesses like this. It’s also great that it’s a family business.”

Top Grade Vapors is one of a growing number of brick-and-mortar vape shops that are popping up as the popularity of electronic cigarettes increases.

“We sell electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vaporizers, and mechanical modifications, which are also known in the industry as mods,” Nichols explained. “Our 'house' eLiquids are made here so they are made to order and can be made to suit the hardware being used and the customer's nicotine preference. This is a real benefit because a customer can step down the nicotine levels gradually, rather than in large steps.”

Nichols can share his own experiences with electronic cigarettes with customers. Over five years ago, he used them to help beat his addiction to nicotine cigarettes.

“I used electronic cigarettes to stop smoking,” Nichols explained. “It’s the only thing that worked for me and I haven’t wanted a cigarette since then. I found that I really enjoy the flavors, and liked that I could step down on the nicotine. I’m still ‘vaping’ but with much less nicotine than when I smoked. I’m really excited to share this smoking alternative.”

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered vaporizers that offer a similar feel to tobacco smoking. They do not contain tobacco, although they do use nicotine from tobacco plants. They produce an aerosol mist rather than smoke from a burning cigarette.

Nichols said that he and the staff, which includes some members of his family, do their best to stay informed on the latest trends and advancements.

“One of the things that we’re finding is that, like cell phones, there is ever-evolving technology in this business,” he said.

Nichols said that he wants customers to come in and enjoy the tasting bar where they can sample a variety of delicious flavors.

“We're blessed with a great customer base and we try to engage our customers to get to know them,” Nichols said. “It's great to work with people that are very laid back and friendly. We get people from all walks of life in our shops: bankers, mechanics, teachers, doctors, firemen, accountants, military personnel, and many more. A lot of people are looking for a smoking alternative or a way to quit smoking that will work for them.”

Top Grade Vapors features Avondale juice maker Lena Dati’s line of Lena’s Gypsy Juices, and a wide range of other products.

The new shop is located at 625 East Cypress Street, Suite C in Kennett Square, and the first location is at 9 North Third Street, Suite 1, in Oxford. The store’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. For more information about Top Grade Vapors and upcoming events, visit the store’s Facebook page.