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Q & A with Chris & Lena
In your own words, what is Bumble Bee Vapor? What makes Bumble Bee Vapor different?
Chris: Bumble Bee Vapor is a veteran-owned e-liquid company based out of Northern Virginia that specializes in layered gourmet flavors. Our flavor combinations are completely unique within the vaping community and are further enhanced by their realistic, natural taste. We apply our skills in beer brewing, wine making, and fine dining through creative flavor combinations and a unique mixing and testing process. We have a one of a kind business model that is based on superior customer service, creating an unparalleled experience from start to finish.
Where did Bumble Bee Vapor come from? How was it created?
Chris: We originally formed Bumble Bee Vapor as a means to support our wounded vets, but throughout our growth and expansion, it has turned into something so much more.
Why is Bumble Bee Vapor important?
Lena: Recently we were in Miami at World Vapor Expo, and a gentleman in a wheelchair came up to our table. He told us about how smoking had put him in that wheelchair and almost cost him not only his marriage, but his life. His story was an incredibly powerful and poignant testament to what vaping is doing for people across the globe. We believe in what we do, and we are committed to this industry.
Tell me about yourself.
Chris: I am a military veteran, having served eight years in the US Army. I grew up surfing and skateboarding like many kids in New Jersey and have been privileged to spend time all over the world, observing different cultures and ways of life. I spent some time as a music producer in the recording industry and was able to work with many world-known acts, producing close to 30 records. Art and creativity has always been a passion of mine, and I am very lucky to be able to apply those skills and my life’s experiences now in the vaping world.
Lena: Professionally, I have spent over ten years in wedding planning, catering, and event planning. Making the change over to e-liquid was an easy progression for me, because I’ve always made a living mixing and matching different flavors and cuisines. My background has also afforded me much experience in sales and marketing, but our passion for stellar customer service is the driving force behind our business. We are normal people who just happen to make and enjoy really good juice, and we want to share that with everyone.
What is your favorite flavor?
Chris: Black Magic might be the best morning vape I've ever had. The rich coffee and fudge brownie mixed with caramel and other creamy flavors perk me right up in the morning. Pistachio pudding was my favorite food in the world as a child. Pistachio & Cream is so close to that taste that it makes me smile like I did when I was 7.
Flagship, Mt. Fuji, Banana Butter, Strawberry Shortcake - it’s hard for me to pick just one when I love them all, in different ways. When you spend so much time creating and fine tuning each flavor, you learn to appreciate the little nuances that each flavor carries, whether it’s that hint of coconut in Mt. Fuji or that strong espresso base in Black Magic. They all hit different parts of my palate, and I love them for the completely different experience each of our flavors gives me.
Lena: While I love and enjoy all the flavors Chris creates, Flagship is definitely my go-to. The caramel and vanilla make it such a smooth vape, rounded out with just enough sweetness that it’s perfect for an all day (okay, fine, everyday) vape. And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my name sake, Nana Banana, which is named after my dad’s childhood nickname for me. (He jokes he wants royalties!) With its creamy strawberry and banana flavor, I can close my eyes and feel like I’m sipping a cocktail on the beach.
How do you come up with flavors?
Lena: It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’m somewhat of a menu nerd. I love reading menus and have always been fascinated by the different flavor combinations chefs create. A culinary background in catering and fine dining helps too :-)
Chris: We browse a lot of menus and read a lot of cooking publications. With my beer brewing and wine making background, I have a lot of experience in carefully blending flavors together to create something uniquely special which I apply to making e-liquids. There are companies out there that pay for recipes and use recipes from forums, etc. That does not fall in line with our philosophy and ethics. To me, this is art. These are my creations in a bottle. And they are creations by my own design meant to be shared with the world.
What is the best part of owning Bumble Bee Vapor?
Chris: There are a lot of wonderful parts about being a part of Bumble Bee. Seeing the transition of people from smoking to vaping, the feeling of community, the people, the devices and countless flavors - all of it combined just makes me feel lucky to be a part of this amazing industry.
Lena: The best part about owning Bumble Bee Vapor is without a doubt all the people we get to meet. Hitting the road and going to different stores and shows is an amazing opportunity not only to grow Bumble Bee’s reach but also to make lasting friendships. The vaping community is so diverse, and sometimes we sit back at the shows and just watch all the different kinds of people that the shows attract. Everyone is so kind and helpful and respectful of one another, and we’re so honored to be a part of a community that is so incredible. When our customers share their stories with us, it’s just the best feeling and we’re so proud of what we do.
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Bumble Bee Vapor
156 Ft. Collier Road, Suite 6
Winchester, VA 22603