Special Day: Interview with Mt. Baker Vapor!
by, 03-25-2014 at 08:40 PM (276 Views)
I'd first like to thank you so much for this time with you to interview Mt Baker Vapor. As you know, the respect we all have for you as not only as a quality eliquid vendor, But as an avid advocate in the fight against over regulation to the industry goes without saying.
I have only a few questions for you, so I won't take up too much of your time, so let's begin.
First, what is your favorite promo code for free eliquid today? I am kidding..How did Mount Baker Vapor get it's start?
Kyle- I know that you said you were kidding, but your readers can always use the "vaporfrombaker" coupon code to save 10% on all orders for life.
How did you decide the pricing model for Mt. Baker and how are you able to offer high quality juice at rock bottom prices?
Kyle - Mt. Baker Vapor started out with our founder, James Thompson. He was working a full time minimum wage job and supporting his family. James had started vaping in order to quit smoking, and he felt like this was a tool and a hobby that he wanted to share with the world. He started mixing out of his apartment, and distributing to friends and family. Word of mouth got around, and his business started to take off. At one point, the demand became too much for him to handle, and he was considering selling the company. Our Co-Owner, Jesse Webb, talked with James about this, said that they should get some additional employees on board to make this happen. From there, they purchased a small production facility in Central Bellingham, and things took off from there.
How many mail men's lives have you had to threaten in order to get your orders delivered so fast? Seriously, how do you delivery so quick?
Kyle - This is a question that we get all the time, and it's an answer we love to share. To make a premium e-liquid, we use top quality ingredients, all sourced within the United States, and we manufacture our e-liquid on site. We use only top USP Food Grade ingredients, and we mix them in a controlled environment. The way we keep pricing down is simple: We cut out the middle man by mixing all of our own juices, and we don't jack up our prices to make revenue. We think that our e-liquid and pricing speak for themselves, and we like to pass that savings on to our loyal customers.
How do you concoct new flavors? What is the testing and development process like?
Kyle- Fortunately, we haven't had to resort to violence or threats (yet) in order to keep up our lightning fast shipping speeds. To get the shipments out quickly, we process every order that comes through our site, dailiy, up until 3:30pm PST. This means that we are able to get the majority of our customer's order shipped on the same day that they are placed. Hand mixed, and ready to go.
Kyle- We have a Dedicated Research and Development team that work on existing flavors, as well as developing new ones; but the majority of our specialty blends come from our front-line mixing staff. We give them the ability to freely mix their own blends, and present them to the leadership team for approval. If the flavor holds up, we will usually send it out as a freebie with qualifying orders. If the customer response is positive: we have ourselves a new flavor.When I think back to all of the e liquid vendors, you were the first one I saw with such unique blend names, which leads me to my question, who names the e liquid? are they named by the fans or are they uniquely named "in house"?
Does Mt. Baker make more from it's online sales or from various vendor relationships?
Kyle- Many of our uniquely named blends are actually named after some vague inside jokes, or rarely known examples of other flavors. For example: Thug Juice and Jungle Juice are actually named after two different Punch Cocktails. Spurburry and Johnny Chimpo are named from the fact that our Mixers are fans of a particular cinema classic. It's generally up to the original mixer, or popular vote among the staff.
If you were contacted by the FDA as a consultant, what guidelines would you propose for all e Juice manufacturers?
Kyle- The backbone of our company, will always be our outstanding customers. Without them, we couldn't be what we are today. Our online sales are the heart and soul of what makes us who we are.
What is the #1 selling Mt Baker flavor of all time? What is hot right now?
Kyle- This is a great question. As it stands, the electronic cigarette industry is largely self-regulated. Overall, we would say that the industry is doing an outstanding job. If the FDA consulted us, I think that it would be universally agreed that there should be no sales to minors. In addition, only USP food grade ingredients should be used (as they are approved for human consumption and already FDA approved). Absolutely no Diacetyl or derivitives/constituents thereof should EVER be used in the manufacturing of e-liquids, and we already hold ourselves to this standard. Childproof caps should be an industry standard. All e liquids mixed should be mixed within a clean, and pharmaceutical environment if they are to be sold and distributed to the public. These are all things that we hold as standard for ourselves, and we believe that these would be the core things that should be held across the board as an industry standard.
Kyle- Our Hawk Sauce is hands-down, our #1. It's easy to see why. It's a Northwest Black/Raspberry blend. It has notes of sweet and sour. It's a fruity, berry flavor, with a touch of coolness that makes it a great All-Day Vape. It's clean, and not overpowering. Overall, it's just awesome. It's followed closely by Thug Juice. Named for the cocktail, it's a mentholated fruit blend that has berry and citrus notes. I may be a bit biased, but my personal favorite is near and dear to me: Black Clove. It's a flavor that I developed, and it's designed to taste like the original "Black" clove cigarettes. All of the flavor, none of the smoke.
Thug Juice is one of your most popular blends. What element inside this e liquid causes it to require such a long steeping time? We all know Thug juice tastes 100% different between day 1 to week 3. What ingredient causes such a lengthy steeping process?
Have the new regulations affected your business? And if so, which regulations and how?
Kyle- Generally speaking; the more complex a flavor is, the more it will develop throughout the steeping process. Thug Juice is a mix of several fruits with a strong menthol note. The menthol in the flavor is designed not to overpower the fruit flavor, but to be complimentary. We always recommend 2-4 weeks of steep time for a freshly mixed liquid, to start. Some of our tobaccos (tobacco being an inherently complex flavor) can require between 4-6 weeks of steeping to reach optimal flavor. Thug juice is one of those flavors that has an intense punch at the beginning, that smoothes into a rich and flavorful blend after adequate steeping. The nice thing about this, is that it lets the Vaper tailor how long they steep it, in order to reach a preferred flavor profile, as well as giving the user a complex experience with each vape.
Kyle, once again thank you so much for this interview. As always, we support not only your high quality e juice line, but your strong support in the political spectrum of the E cigarette industry!
Kyle- Fortunately, we're stronger than ever. A recent bill had been proposed in our home state of Washington that would have completely destroyed our business model. They were planning an unheard-of 95% tax on all electronic cigarette components. This included all e liquids, flavoring, hardware, down to even silica wicks. That isn't even the worst part: they were planning on banning all online sales of electronic cigarettes. This would have forced us to relocate. We fought this bill tooth and nail with a fantastic group of Vapers and Advocacy groups here in Washington State, and I am glad to say that we have come through unscathed. The bill has been dropped, for the time being, and we are stronger for it.
The real issue isn't any realistic or fair regulation that may be put into effect. The problem is the misinformation that is being propagated through many mainstream media publications. I can't count the number of times where someone has approached me, while I'm vaping, and said "Isn't there antifreeze in that?" or, "At least I know what's in regular cigarettes." Part of what we try to do, is to educate and inform. I'm hoping that the community, as a whole, will continue to come together to inform, educate, and fight the good fight.
Kyle- On a side note, thank you for this opportunity. I'm more than happy to participate in this with you. Feel free to contact me in the future if you ever want another interview.
Take care, and Vape On.
Source - My Vapor Savior - My Struggles With Smoking and Journey through Vaping