A space at Cloister Shopping Center in Ephrata that was formerly occupied by an insurance agency will reopen this spring as Vapor Cafe, a shop selling electronic cigarettes and smoking accessories.
Proprietor Raymond Medina said he hopes to open the 500-square-foot shop later this month. It will be his first retail store and the first of its kind in the area; Medina said there are some electronic cigarette clubs in Central Pennsylvania, but he’s not aware of any similar shops much closer than the Philadelphia area.
“I feel that putting an electronic cigarette display on the gas station stand only allows the person who’s intrigued to maybe get a taste of it, but not full education on the product,” Medina said. He sees his store as a way to fill that gap.
Medina said that, at about $70, e-cigarettes are more expensive initially than regular cigarettes but over time are cheaper. They also offer varying levels of nicotine, all the way down to none, and while the FDA is still evaluating e-cigarettes, Medina believes they lack some carcinogens that regular cigarettes have.
Adam Hagerman, the Bennett Williams Realty agent who handled the lease, said occupancy at the shopping center is good, with only about two of 20 spaces currently unfilled.
“We’ve had a lot of activity lately,” Hagerman said, noting that Yogurtworks Cafe is another recent addition to the center.