It all started with a pen
Four years before Michigan would vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults, and just a year after Oxford Dictionaries declared “vape” the definitive word of 2014, a modest Michigan brand launched a line of personal vaporizer batteries under the name Ooze. The Slim Twist battery, the first of its kind due to its twist-on charging mechanism, was invented to universally accommodate the influx of cannabis and CBD concentrate cartridges that had flooded the market of surging smoking alternatives.
Needless to say, things have changed since then.
“If they had more space, we’d probably get that, too,” Ooze’s marketing director Eddie Koury says during a tour of Ooze wholesale headquarters in Oak Park. The company, which started with less than 2,000 square feet of space with owners Vince Ayar, Gjergj Sinishtaj, and brothers Dan and Steve Hannawa at the helm and fewer than five employees on payroll, is taking over the industrial complex they’ve called home since 2015, and will soon occupy nearly 45,000 square feet of warehouse and showroom space in the coming months.
“We’re up to I think almost 50 employees now. It’s about job creation, and that’s been fun, too,” Ayar says of the company’s expansion, which started last year when Ooze entered the wholesale market, and will include “doubling or tripling” Ooze’s marketing department, as well as partnering with other supply brands to offer a wide range of products beyond Ooze brand exclusives.
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