Ignite Vapor and Tobacco is slated to open Friday, Feb. 22, in the former "Chicken Spur" building at the foot of the Blatnik Bridge. The Superior shop brings a diverse array of products together in a single storefront. Customers can find everything from incense and roll-your-own tobacco items to vapor and hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products. There's also a walk-in humidor stocked with premium cigars.
"There's really not a word for us because we're not a smoke shop; we're not a cigar shop; we're not a head shop," said Timothy Frey, one of the business partners. "We're kind of a combination, but we're upscale."
The shop has a zero tolerance policy for minors.
"Anybody that looks under 35 we card as they come in the door and then we scan their ID for purchase," Frey said. "I am not risking my license by selling one thing to a minor."
The interior of the building at 502 Hammond Ave. has been remodeled. Gone are the coolers and front counter, which opens up the space. The shop boasts new doors, windows, lights and a high-tech security system. Outdoor improvements, including an exterior paint job and green space, are planned when the weather allows.
Both Frey and business partner Jamie Andrews remembered the building from their college days at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
"It was actually a lot of flashbacks when we both walked in here," Frey said. "We probably wouldn't have opened here if it wasn't for this location."
The site at the foot of the bridge should attract traffic from Wisconsin and Minnesota. It offers on-site parking and opportunities for expansion, as well.
Frey stressed that the business follows the letter of the law and is fully licensed.
"We just want to be part of the community and work with everybody," Frey said.
This is the third Ignite location the business partners have opened. The other shops are located in Spooner and Hayward. Ignite focuses on customer service and education.
One thing will be missing from the menu, however.
"We don't sell chicken," partner Ben Chamberlain said.
The Superior business employs five. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit ignitevaporandtobacco.com or Ignite V & T Superior on Facebook for more information.