BY ADE OLUFEKO — The new Eco-Vapez shop in Riverdale, which offers vaporizers, e-juices, coffee and branded merchandise, opened its doors to the public on July 18. The store is located on the cusp of Hyattsville’s growing Arts District, which continues to give residents and visitors a variety of commercial options.
“Though there is a general misconception of what some first time comers perceive vaping to be, our staff focuses on educating the customers on the holistic aspects of vaping and how the e-juices has helped long term nicotine smokers kick their habit,” says Leo Murray an Eco Vapez employee.
The store occupies a remodeled home on 6001 Baltimore Ave. It’s the second location for Store Managers Chris Vigilante and Ken Tran, who opened their flagship vape store in Alexandria, Virginia.
“Our main focus is customers and culture, creating a welcoming environment which aims to make guests feel at home. Eco Vapez caters to different personalities which in turn creates unique buying experiences,” Tran said. The repurposed home does just that, creating a comfortable setting for the store.
Saturday’s grand opening was filled with community members from all walks of life — young and old, vape connoisseurs and novices.. A disc jockey as well as another music performer, Dan Barry, highlighted the new establishment’s relationship to the artistic community. In the store’s back room, customers played video games as they indulged in vaping or coffee. The walls were lined with paintings done in a unique medium: coffee grounds on canvas.
“This is a unique business opportunity,” said Vigilante, the store’s co-owner. He also operates Vigilante Coffee in Hyattsville. “We built the store by hand to include elements of an old school vibe such as a Vinyl record player and the relaxed coffee store ambiance we have found success with.” Vigilante said Hyattsville is welcoming to small businesses and he hopes to assist other small businesses looking to launch in the area.
Eco Vapez is open Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5p.m.