Small Town Vapes store hours:
Monday - Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
A vape business co-owned by a Ball State junior and his brother expanded into the Village over the summer in an effort to reach the college demographic.
Located above Jimmy Johns, Small Town Vapes offers an assortment of tanks and e-liquid for the popular vape pen. It's the business' second location.
Small Town Vapes is owned by Matt Chronister, a junior logistics and supply chain management major, and his brother, Aaron Chronister. Both are from Decatur, Indiana, where the business originated 5 months ago.
Aaron, a former student at Ivy Tech, began making vape juices at his home in Decatur and selling them to friends. After his business began to grow, his family decided to open the Decatur store.
“It was definitely a challenge because of how small a town Decatur is," Matt said. "We had to find ways to get the name out there and deal with competitors."
Matt moved to Muncie to attend Ball State and his family decided to expand the business with his move, and they found the ideal location in the heart of the Village.
“We were looking for locations, and since I go to school here, I could be the manager," Matt said. "We then found this great location in the Village. We got the building in late May and opened in late July, so it was a quick process."
Vape pens consist of e-liquid, or vapor, that the user inhales through a tank that resembles a fountain pen, which may contain various levels of nicotine. The user can choose the level of nicotine in the vapor, which Matt said is an attractive feature to smokers who are trying to quit.
“Vape pens are a lot safer than smoking, so it’s a better alternative," Matt said. It’s a safer way for people to get their nicotine craving instead of
smoking a cigarette. I know a number of people who have stopped smoking
cigarettes because of vape pens."
Vapors are sold in a variety of flavors, which is a large component of the vape pen business. Small Town Vapes sells 15 flavors in its Muncie location, and roughly 100 flavors in its Decatur location. They sell VapeGoons juice products, and offer flavors such as Berry Good Cheesecake, Jolly Rancher and Blueberry Custard Waffle.
Matt said business has picked up recently, especially since students started arriving for welcome week. They are spreading the word on campus by contacting student organizations on campus, passing out flyers and pamphlets and through their Facebook page. They are currently working on getting a flag with Small Town Vapes’ logo to display during tailgate events at football games.
Zac Torrey, an employee of Small Town Vapes and a junior telecommunications major at Ball State, said he enjoys working in the Village. Torrey grew up with the Chronister brothers and has been working at Small Town Vapes since it opened.
“It’s a great atmosphere and I enjoy working here because the customers are college students, like me," Torrey said. "The location is great because we get the demographic of college students that we are looking for. It’s a better location than some of the other vape stores in town.”
Matt said he's noticed a demand for a business like his, and that it's a good addition to the Village.
“People have waited for something like this to open here, especially since the Village has been growing,” Matt said.