Nearly ten years ago, Chicago-native Roy Andrews fell off a ladder while installing equipment as a technician for an electronic security systems company, ADT. The accident left him severely injured, and for two years, Andrews was unable to walk on his own. Months of grueling physical therapy followed, and the hefty medical bills began to rack up.
Andrews, who is the father of two young children, knew he needed to find another way to supplement his income, so he began searching for franchise opportunities.
“After the accident, I realized it was time for a lifestyle change. I wanted to provide more for my family and give my children a better life,” Andrews said. “I also knew that I needed to find a job that would help me stay off my leg and maintain my health.”
While working at ADT, Andrews was often on call as the main technician for several vaping stores. He slowly learned more about the industry, and his interest grew. When Andrews came across a mention of Palm Beach Vapors
in Forbes, he immediately knew it was his best option.
“The more I learned about vaping, the more I realized that this is a trend that will be around for a while. The idea of a cleaner alternative to cigarettes will be a huge, up-and-coming thing, and I wanted to get into it before it really took off,” Andrews said. “The world of vaping is just so vast, new and exciting.”
Palm Beach Vapors is franchising’s first e-cigarette and vapor retailer. Founded in 2013, the company has seen exponential growth that mirrors the country’s interest in kicking the smoking habit. Based in Tulsa, Okla., Palm Beach Vapors has franchises in Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas with development deals signed in Alabama, California and Florida. In the short two years it has been around, Palm Beach Vapors has come to represent a true pioneering concept in a rapidly expanding space. The company offers customers both the hardware and the juice, and they pride themselves on their GnuVape product— a safer liquid system that would work in existing electronic cigarette hardware.
Growing up, Andrews’ entire family smoked cigarettes, and Andrews himself had turned into the occasional smoker. When researching Palm Beach Vapors, he realized that vaping could be a great alternative. Throughout the time spent developing his store location, Andrews noticed he was smoking cigarettes less and less.
“Vaping helped me quit smoking, and I was drawn into this business because I want to help others to stop smoking as well,” Andrews said.
On Oct. 17, Andrews officially opened the doors to his first Palm Beach Vapors location in Cary, Ill. Although traffic has been light during his first week in business, the people who do stop by have expressed their excitement in having a new and better vape option in their neighborhood. Andrews believes the quality products and customer service helps Palm Beach Vapors stand out in a market that already seems saturated due to a sudden surge in popularity.
“Every customer that has come in has told us how much they value our service and the way we treat them. We don’t feed them false information to try to make a sale,” Andrews said. “Our product is authentic and speaks for itself.”
Looking towards the future, Andrews hopes he will be able to introduce the marijuana arm to his business once it becomes legal in Illinois. After spending two years in painful physical therapy, he is especially interested in the benefits of his business entering the medical marijuana industry. And when it comes to eventually adding another store or two to the area, Andrews is completely on board and ready for the challenge.
“My plan was always to expand the Palm Beach Vapors business,” Andrews said. “I didn’t grow up in the best which, way or form. I had a hard life. It made me always want to strive for more. It’s not in me to not keep going. I apply that mindset to everything I do.”