ASHLAND When Jerry Goodwin and his family moved back to Ashland across from the old appliance store on 29th Street, he never thought he would one day own a business inside it and provide for his family.
Goodwin and his wife, Melinda, are the proud owners of District 4 Vapor on 29th Street, where they can assist anyone with any vaping needs or those who are trying to quit smoking.
The store, which has been open for about two years, has seen tremendous success and he credits it to loyal customers and the laid-back atmosphere of the business.
“There are a lot of misconseptions about vaping right now,” said Goodwin. “Since opening I believe we have helped about 80 percent of our customers quit smoking.”
Goodwin, who used to be a smoker, got into vaping when he was at the end of his rope trying to quit.
“I had tried everything, but I knew I didn’t to figure out something for my kids,” Goodwin said. “I started vaping to quit smoking and then it turned into a business.”
Once they learned some of the ins and outs of vaping, Goodwin started a small business creating handcrafted drip tips.
“We started out small and it has grown to where we travel all over the country to shows for drip tips,” Goodwin said.
With the success of his drip tips, Goodwin put his saved money into the bigger picture and opened District 4 on 29th Street. Inside the store, customers can find a wide variety of e-liquids in many different flavors and a casual atmosphere with employees willing to help anyone who walks in.
“We have all types of brands and flavors. A lot of people really like the strawberry flavor,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin says he has heard stories from his customers being able to quit smoking.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is it’s optional to put nicotine in it,” Goodwin said. “Some people do put it in,but it is way less than what you would find in a cigarette.”
Goodwin is in the process of expanding to locations in Boyd County and Chesapeake.
“If regulations would permit it, I would love to start a franchise,” he said.
While Goodwin has an extensive knowledge about vaping, he realizes why many think it is just as bad as cigarettes.
“Some of them do let out a bunch of steam and I can see why people that didn’t know about them wouldn’t like that,” he said.
Goodwin hopes to continue building his business in the area and spreading awareness about vaping. He also works closely with smoke-free advocacy groups to help anyone who may need assistance.
“Due to regulations, if customers want to try a sample, they have to pay 25 cents, which we donate to a smoke- free advocacy group,” Goodwin said.
As the they prepare to open two more stores and start the hiring process, Goodwin said he feels lucky stumbling upon his business.
“I wanted a business that I would enjoy coming into every day and something where my kids could make a paycheck one day,” Goodwin said.
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