The Cloud to open in downtown Reed City

Business focuses on e-pens, blended tobacco REED CITY — With items like electronic cigarettes, electronic hookah pens and blended tobaccos rising in popularity each day, Reed City resident Joe Alexander is hoping to take advantage of the boom and provide similar products to area residents.

Alexander is in the process of opening The Cloud, a business geared toward selling such products and others to men and woman 18 years and older. It will be located on Upton Avenue in Reed City, next to the Buckboard Bar and Grill.

"There's a need for it in this area and for this type of business that has quality products and good service," he said. "I enjoy it myself."

The Cloud is expected to open in about three weeks. Inside the business, Alexander plans to offer a selection of e-pens, e-liquids for the pens, four hand-blended tobacco products created in front of the customer and other similar products. A lounge will offer patrons to have a relaxing experience while waiting for their blends, become educated on the items, try samples or to simply relax. Free coffee, television and wifi will be available.

An e-pen is a vaporizer device used as an alternative form of smoking. Flavored liquid, called e-liquid, is poured into the pen and turned into vapor by battery. They do not contain smoke or tar.

"I think it'll fit in well here," Alexander said about the business. "Reed City has some nice businesses and I think it's time for another one."

With a variety of tastes and levels of nicotine that can vary from person to person, the offerings his business will provide are good ways for people to wean themselves off of typical cigarettes and cigars, he said. Alexander has been a smoker for years, but now smokes less thanks to his e-pen. The e-liquids used in the pens have endless options of flavors, ranging from green apple to coffee.

Though popularity for smoking alternatives has been on the upswing, Alexander is aware of the negative reputation of the industry, and the controversy that can come with it. However, he will be a business owner that will do his share of keeping the products out of the hands of minors.

"Technically if a minor came in, I could sell it to them, but I'm not going to," Alexander said. "I'm not trying to attract kids to these products. There will be no minors in here, unless, of course, they are with their parents. I will check IDs."

In addition to the products for sale, Alexander will hold a monthly contest for customers to invent a new flavor for e-liquids. Each flavor will be created, sampled and voted upon by patrons. The winning flavor will be sold at the store and the customer who created the flavor will receive some free bottles. He also will allow local artists to display and sell their pieces inside the business.

For more information about the business, visit facebook.com/thecloudvaporLLC.