CASTLETON CORNERS-Even before he graduated from Temple University Law School last week, Adam Tredwell-founder and co-owner of Vermont Vapor, Inc. of Castleton-was well on his way to being a successful entrepreneur. Tredwell's Rutland County business started with a simple solution for millions of tobacco smokers worldwide: how to enjoy smoking without the risk of inhaling cancer-causing smoke, tars and related by-products?
Tredwell, a Rutland High School Class of 1996 alumnus, developed his electronic cigarette, or e-cig, operation while still a college undergraduate.
The business evolved at his mother's suggestion; she wanted to quit smoking and had learned about unusual electronic devices manufactured in communist China (although the Chinese-made liquids vaporized by the e-cigs to form the ersatz smoke are of very dubious quality and content).
"You get the feeling of smoking without smoking," he said. "My Vermont-made content is clean water vapor with a little citric acid and natural flavoring." Tredwell and his mother, Linda Barker, manage the year-old corporation all by themselves.
For Tredwell, it took focus, a creative product idea (a much needed smoking alternative), a clever marketing plan, a user-friendly website, and a genuine Vermont storefront to establish the business. He had already decided to find an alternative to traditional smoking when he couldn't smoke during college exams. With all that now in place, Vermont Vapor is really-you should pardon the expression-smokin'!
Despite a fire last month that destroyed Vermont Vapor's rented
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e-liquid production space on Route 4 in Rutland Town, the company is back on track. Despite a local rumor, fire investigators found that the blaze started in an adjoining business; it had absolutely no connection to Vermont Vapor's operation.
Vermont Vapor's cozy retail shop at Castleton Corners has attracted e-cig fans from as far away as Montreal and Boston. In addition to the shop, a new laboratory and production facility will "rise from the ashes" adjacent to the outlet in mid June.