Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: CJ's E-Cigs in OKC

Today I visited a south side vape shop, CJ's E-Cigs (they have a Facebook page also). The store is located on the south side of I-240 Service Rd just west of Pennsylvania Ave. Not the easiest to find, but not too difficult either. The shopping center has many other stores and restaurants and plenty of parking making for a choice location, in my opinion.

The shop itself is small but well decorated, if just a touch more feminine than suits me...but it is not so girly that it hurt my macho pride to actually stay and visit with Jerrie Lynn who was the staff person on duty. When I walked in, she was in the process of blending juice for a customer, but she greeted me as soon as she could. This gave me a minute or so to look around the lounge area and to check out what items they had in the retail display case.

Their hardware inventory suggests that they cater primarily to beginning vapers with a taste for bling and style. Nestled among the leopard print and digital camo "eGo" batteries, I was pleased to see some solid colored genuine Joye eGos also. I mention this because I am not very keen on the quality of non-eGo batteries due to lack of longevity. I believe I also saw a battery mod or two in the case, but that is not what this trip was about.

I mean, face it, I mentioned she was blending juice when I walked in to the store, and e-liquid IS a huge part of the vaping experience. The flavor list with which I was presented shows about 110 different juices, and when asked, Jerrie Lynn stated their base is a 60/40 VG/PG blend. Acting the novice, I asked how I go about sampling a few of the flavors and she immediately grabbed a battery, a prefilled tank with the first flavor I was wanting to try, and a...hmmm, I guess I will use the common term..."condom" (for sanitary purposes). As I was sampling a few flavors, Jerrie Lynn explained that all of their samples were 0 nicotine juice. I guess if you are going to have samples for everybody that is one way of doing it, but as an experienced vapor, I found myself trying to imagine how the vapor would feel with a little "throat hit", after all, you know some flavors just need the sensation as well as the taste.

I decided on a flavor, Almond Joy if you must know, and told her my nicotine level. She told me that since juices were made to order I could have her tweak the flavor to suit my tastes and I did just that, asking for her to increase the chocolate. She made my 5ml bottle and I pulled out my eGo ready to direct drip one of my favorite candy bars! The first hit reminded me that chocolate flavoring is bitter, and I told her that next time I will get it with the original ratio. She suggested that I let her have the bottle back and she would increase the almond and cocoanut to balance it all out. When she was done I had a bottle of "Extra Flavor Almond Joy" and was quite pleased.

So here is my rating of CJ's E-Cigs in SW OKC (individual items scored on scale from 1 to 5):

Atmosphere: 4
Customer Service: 5
Hardware: 3
Juice: 4

Overall (rated on a scale from 1 to 10): 8

This shop seems to be geared to beginning vapers, I am a little uncertain about the wisdom of sacrificing substance for style in the hardware (of course sometimes you have to in order to please your customers tastes), but the juice was good and the customer service was great. As I didn't really make a note of prices other than e-juice (which was a little higher than I am used to paying $5/5ml $10/10ml) that is not figured into my rating. This store opened in December of 2012, I think I will give them another three months or so and then write a follow up the mean time, I will probably visit them again to try some more of their e-juices.