To Fill ‘Essential’ Need, Vape Shops Go Curbside

“Basically, we’re open for business”

Four customers had already left phone messages when Faizan Ahmad, owner of Artisan Vapor, arrived at his Burlington Vermont store Thursday morning. A few were already waiting in the parking lot.

All Ahmad had to do was take their order and bring it back out.

As Vermont’s stay-at-home policy takes effect, businesses labeled nonessential might be looking toward digital markets. 

But because of last year’s ban on online sales of e-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products, some vape shops are trying curbside service instead.

A sign at Valley Vape in Essex Junction directs customers not to enter but to call for curbside service instead.

“Basically, we’re open for business,” said Alex Morano, owner of Valley Vape in Essex Junction. “Not as usual, but were still open for business.”

Customers at her store call in an order and park while gloved employees come outside and pass along the products, Morano said.

Ahmad’s employees wear both gloves and masks, and the store also offers plastic fingertip covers to customers if they need to handle something. 

Gov. Phil Scott’s executive order, which went into effect Wednesday night, mandates that all businesses and nonprofits stop in-person operations to limit the spread of the coronavirus, except in some essential sectors. It encourages nonexempt businesses to find new ways to stay afloat, like curbside service.

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