E-cigarette store headed for Marion St.

Owner says Cignot aims to help smokers quit

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

It was about 37 years ago that Victoria Vasconcellos, 52, took a puff off her first cigarette, and by her late 40s she had developed a cough so bad it kept her up at night.

She said that over the years she tried nicotine patches, nicotine gum and even the cessation anti-depressant Chantix, but was unsuccessful in her effort to kick the habit. She said it wasn't until she tried her first electronic cigarette in early 2009 that she was able to slowly wean herself off of tobacco.

"I realized I had control over my addiction," she said.

Vasconcellos launched an Internet business later that same year selling e-cigarettes under the name Cignot and has since opened four brick-and-mortar stores, located in Hickory Hills, Lyle, Wauconda and the town where she lives, Elmhurst. Vasconcellos also is looking to open stores in Chicago, she said.

Her newest location will be located in Oak Park at 101 N. Marion St. and is expected to be in operation by early May.

Puffing on e-cigarettes, also known as "vaping," distributes nicotine to the body by vaporizing a combination of nicotine, water, flavoring, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, she said. A battery component in e-cigarettes charges a heating element that turns the liquid nicotine into a mist that is free of smoke, according to the American Cancer Society.

The Cancer Society has not taken a position on whether e-cigarettes should be banned but notes on its website: "Studies have shown that e-cigarettes can cause short-term lung changes that are much like those caused by regular cigarettes. But long-term health effects are still unclear. This is an active area of research, and the safety of these products is currently unknown."

Vasconcellos argues that a number of studies show that e-cigarettes pose no health concerns for users or bystanders.

She said that none of her stores have ever sold e-cigarettes to minors and Cignot also will not carry tobacco products, pipes or other paraphernalia related to smoking.

"This (business) wasn't started for money, it was started for a mission," she said, adding that she aims to put "big tobacco" out of business.

Cignot will carry products by Joyetech, Kanger, Boge, SmokTech, Visions and Innokin, Vasconcellos said.

The new business will be located on a major commercial thoroughfare in Oak Park. The location was leased by David King of Oak Park realty firm David King & Associates.

"We visited the downtown Elmhurst location, we were there for half an hour on a Wednesday afternoon in 15 degree weather and there were 20 customers in and out of the store," King said in a telephone interview. "This store will bring additional traffic to downtown Oak Park."

Email: tim@oakpark.com

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Austin/Ryan from Meadville  

Posted: May 17th, 2014 4:41 AM

Whvvxzxt. Mljvfzzzzzdun jvxvxxxxxjbbv


Posted: May 15th, 2014 2:48 PM

Tacky, I hate to be that guy but you have no clue what the word tacky means, "not having or exhibiting good taste", not sure how a small sign that informs you that you are not allowed to carry a gun exhibits bad taste. There are plenty of gun stories to post on go find one

Tacky McTackerson from Oak Park  

Posted: May 15th, 2014 2:00 PM

The stickers on the e-cig shop are just at one location (where I don't generally go.) The silly no gun signs are all over the place. It's tacky.


Posted: May 15th, 2014 12:59 PM

Hey Tacky, are you really comparing and entire storefront of fake smoke stickers to 4 inch stickers on doors? What else is tacky to you? Street signs?, pull signs on doors?, addresses on business?


Posted: May 15th, 2014 12:39 PM

Help you stop smoking? Is that why there is pictures of smoke all over the outside of it? If anything, the e cig idea just enhances the lure of smoking without the consequences? Not the case. I guess we should allow e cigs in the HS?

Tacky McTackerson from Oak Park  

Posted: May 15th, 2014 12:15 PM

Know what else is tacky? Those no gun stickers aimed at concealed carry all over Oak Park. How do they even enforce that? Pat you down at the door?


Posted: May 15th, 2014 10:41 AM

Brad, yes I agree, I am really bummed out by this store, the article made it sound like it was going to be an upscale place but it seems downright ghetto from the outside with those smoke stickers, maybe they will add some neon signs and flashing lights while they are at it

The Brad from OP  

Posted: May 15th, 2014 10:34 AM

I'm glad you said that, because I felt the same way when I first noticed them. Those stickers are absolutely tacky, aren't they? Just looks incredibly low-rent and tacky for such a nice area. Pitiful. At least try to class it up a bit.


Posted: May 15th, 2014 9:43 AM

Is this place open yet, I walked by and the glass is dark with some really tacky smoke stickers all over

OP Transplant  

Posted: May 15th, 2014 9:07 AM

Um...not to be obvious, Mr. Science, but your lungs aren't functioning better because you're smoking ecigs. Your lungs are functioning better because you're not smoking cigarettes.

Anonymous from Chicago, IL  

Posted: May 15th, 2014 4:32 AM

My doctor recommended ecigs as a means for me to quit smoking. I took a lung function test 2 days before switching to ecigs and 6 months after using them all day every day. Doctors words regarding improvement was "remarkable." One metric improved by 50%. For those of you spouting nonsense concerning ecigs, it is just that, nonsense. It's the 21st century and ignorant f**** are still burning witches.

E-cigarette dangers  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 5:13 PM

Electronic cigarettes can be dangerous, even if you don't smoke them. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-sci-sn-e-cigarette-harms-cdc-20140403,0,3724038.story


Posted: April 1st, 2014 8:48 PM

Yeah, if I were better educated I'd want this idiot store. You saw right through me. Thanks for straightening me out. Self-important jackass.

Chuck H. from River Forest  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 7:00 PM

Also, even if kids use these devices to ingest marijuana, they were likely doing so long before starting to use a vaporizer. And if it's your kid you are worried about, then maybe it is your parenting you should be questioning, not the e-cigarette store that sells batteries. Not to mention, it would take quite a but of work and resources to use one of their devices for pot. The answer is education and not discrimination.

Chuck H. @ Neighbor from River Forest  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 6:49 PM

Hi, @Neighbor. I guess you couldn't tell because you are likely as out of touch as your viewpoints, but that is a quote from a satirical show called Chappelle's Show. It fits pretty well in this thread because you people are essentially just a bunch of Clayton Bigsby's. He is a blind, African American White Supremacist. Most of you are just blindly spewing hate because...well I don't know why. Maybe ignorance, fear, or a little bit of both.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 2:59 PM

members of the hereditarily hairless community take offense to this talk of wig wearers and non-wig wearers. Why can't you just accept people as hairless?

Yeah! What did happen to diversity?  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 12:36 PM

Don't we live in a diverse community of wig wearers and non wig wearers? Why the backlash against more wig stores? Diversity says we need more pawn shops AND wig stores. Also gun stores. And, what the hell, straight-up head shops. 'Cause everything can be justified with the diversity card! Oh, strip bars! I forgot to say strip bars! 'Cause...you know...diversity and stuff.

what happened to diversity  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 12:16 PM

Don't we live in a diverse community of smokers and non-smokers? Why are all of you non smokers so judgmental? I though you were all cool with diversity? Oh that's right that is only for skin color not :thought, hobbies, shops, ideas, hobbies etc. Boring......

joe from south oak park  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 10:52 AM

neighbor - SB1756 was passed last year and signed by the governor. it prohibits sale and possession of any 'alternative nicotine product' for those under 18. This including e-cigs, nicotine gum and patches. you can check out the full text here: http://alturl.com/uasyx

Concerned Oak Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 9:35 AM

Not much gets my knickers all in a bunch, but ELECTRONIC cigarettes??? My stars! Now I've heard everything! What's next? An electronic washing machine???


Posted: April 1st, 2014 9:18 AM

"Haters gonna hate. If you got hate in your heart, let it out! Most of you people make me sick." The more I hear from its supporters, the less I want the store. Is there a perceived shortage of stoned teenagers downtown? Are we looking for ways to get more?

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 31st, 2014 10:23 PM

NotPC- after the winter we had this year, I could totally go for a quality fur lined leather jacket.

Unsure from Oak park  

Posted: March 31st, 2014 6:52 PM

Refind Home is leaving because no one patrionizes her business. Patronize the businesses you want in your community or they will not survive.


Posted: March 31st, 2014 6:03 PM

Will a furrier open next door to this shop? Just to get everyone's shorts really in a bunch ;)

Chuck H. from River Forest  

Posted: March 31st, 2014 5:27 PM

Haters gonna hate. If you got hate in your heart, let it out! Most of you people make me sick.

Matt from Oak Park from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2014 4:49 PM

Most of you are living up to the pretentious stereotype given to Oak Park residents. While vapers may be a small segment of the population, I've seen everyone from uniformed police officers to suits as patrons of these shops. Cignot is as professional and upscale of an e-cigarette shop I have seen. I am ashamed to live in a place that claims to be accepting but in reality is extremely narrow minded and short sighted. Grab your pitchforks, I guess.


Posted: March 30th, 2014 7:48 AM

The awesome thing about science is that it doesn't care if you believe it's true or not. If you think nicotine isn't killing you every time you inhale, you don't have to convince me. It's the researchers saying otherwise who will decide. (If you're still alive from all the smoking and vaping.)

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 29th, 2014 11:54 PM

@-@Gary Again what your saying is false. There is no basis for you saying e cigs kill. But there is factual evidence that smokers who switched that had remarkable health improvement. If your still on the "killer" nicotine thing, I vape 18mg e juice, thats considered medium/high. a 10ML bottle lasts 5 days. average cigarette has 1.4mg Nic, 28mg a pack, so at a pack of day thats 140mg of Nic in five days of smoking. So even though I use what is a high nic level, its still 88% LESS than smoking


Posted: March 29th, 2014 7:05 PM

Alcohol is a special situation because red wine has health benefits. But I'd agree with you on obesity. Soda and junk food taxes are on the horizon. The problem with e-cigarettes is there's no possible healthy version. It's not possible to use in moderation and a user is taking days off their life by even the smallest amount of use. Which puts it in a more dangerous class for the consumer who is being essentially killed by the manufacturer. Keep it legal. But tax the heck out of it.

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 29th, 2014 5:19 PM

@-@Gary If your such an advocate for the taxation on healthcare look at this. Obesity costs 190 billion a year, Treated Alcohol costs 175.9 billion a year, untreated Alcohol wasted on healthcare and criminal justice system 184.6 billion. Underage Alcohol use treatment 52.8 billion. (not sure why alcohol is broken into separate categories probably so it doesnt look as bad), Analog cigarette smokers 137 billion. Hate to give win to smokers, but apparently its cheaper than being obese or a drinker

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 29th, 2014 5:08 PM

@-@Gary Everything you've posted so far has been utter nonsense. Do you own a Tobacco shop and want to deter ecig use? The only way Ecigs are a "taxation" on healthcare is that people are no longer pumping there hard earned dollars into it because they're becoming healthier. So far the biggest problem with ecig use is some people are sensitive to the PG liquid.The liquid in ecigs is the same that is in every food flavoring. And nicotine is in eggplant,potato,tomato,tea,hot and sweet peppers

Wondering from North Berywn  

Posted: March 29th, 2014 5:07 PM

@@Gary, "Premier shopping district"?! That is laughable. You are delusional. This town is filled with fools like you.


Posted: March 29th, 2014 4:09 PM

Wondering, Roosevelt is probably where this e-cig store belongs more appropriately. Not a downtown, premier shopping district. @Gary, the reason cigarettes and e-cigs should be taxed at an insanely high rate is to discourage their use. They're a public health hazard and users are slowly killing themselves and taxing the healthcare system.

Wondering from North Berwyn  

Posted: March 29th, 2014 3:49 PM

Where were all you people when the hookah store located on Roosevelt Rd. in Oak Park opened? Three shelves of hookahs in the window and nary a word from the "concerned citizens of Oak Park." Meanwhile, you applaud low income housing and a vegetable store opening on Madison. You people can take Marion Street and shove it sideways where the sun don't shine.

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 29th, 2014 12:01 AM

@-@Gary What gives you the right to demand higher taxes from someone else just because they do something you don't agree with? If you dont agree than dont buy those items, you have no reason to infringe on the rights of those who do wish to support a local business and to better themselves by choosing an alternative to smoking. What ever happened to innocent before proven guilty? why do head shops have such a bad rap? There isnt one industry that hasnt had legal problems at one time or another

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 11:41 PM

@-@Gary "resisted the science?" smoking has become especially worse in the last 100 years when they began with all the additives, before it was just tobacco, now upwards of 900 ingredients. I think every state has laws stating no one under 18 may buy, not that it mattered because retailers already did that before laws happened. Why blame sellers when "kids" lie-cheat-and steal there way into getting there hands on devices. "kids" smoke drink and do drugs, hows those existing laws working out?

Captain Obvious  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 10:27 PM

"I do think that the prevalence of those products in head shops might promote the stigma attached to vaping in general." I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest that head shops sell these things because people use them to get high. That's why there's a stigma.

Conor from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 7:45 PM

Many smokers, especially those of a certain age, will be less likely to even see the higher quality PV's in head shops because there is such a stigma there too. Vape shops provide a place to learn about the products, make an informed decision based on what you're looking for. Do you want the throat hit of a cigarette? Is amount of vapor more important? What flavors do you like? These are questions most head shops are neither equipped nor prepared to answer. Hopefully Cignot is.

Suzette from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 7:37 PM

Speaking of vacancies, what's up with Pensey's leaving Oak Park ?


Posted: March 28th, 2014 7:24 PM

People resisted the science on smoking for years. E-cigs are history repeating. I'm not saying they should be outlawed. But I do think we need to step up the regulations. Prevent kids from using. Extremely high taxes to discourage use. Etc. If someone really wants to get healthy, there are programs to quit smoking and quit nicotine addiction. This shop is not that.

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 6:59 PM

@-@Gary That depends on what study you want to believe is true about nicotine "promoting" tumor growth. Nicotine causes Angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels. so in that sense, more blood vessels=more blood flow=growth of everything, good or bad. So as far as large epidemiological studies, nicotine has been used for over 2,000 years by native americans, went to Europe in 1500's. how large and long a study do you want? And after all this time inconclusive is best you can say?

Conor from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 6:53 PM

@OPTransplant: I do think head shops are one of the businesses that can easily stock some e-cig products because the distribution is already in place. I do think that the prevalence of those products in head shops might promote the stigma attached to vaping in general. Just because some people put attachments on their e-cig batteries to smoke weed doesn't mean we should look at everyone with a PV as a potential pothead.


Posted: March 28th, 2014 5:19 PM

Nicotine by itself has been shown to promote tumor growth, increase tumor size, and help tumors metastasize. The CDC says "inconclusive" because of a lack of large epidemiological studies.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 4:05 PM

The Zoning Ordinance is indeed being reviewing. My sources tell me this shop will never see the light of day. Nice try.

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 3:47 PM

@-@Gary. So my science is shaky? Im sorry you feel that quoting the CDC in that there is ZERO EVIDENCE (not zero risk) that nicotine is a carcinogen is incorrect, maybe you should take it up with them. Let's discuss other things that are also teratogen's, Alcohol, Caffeine,artificial sweeteners,soft cheeses,Fish and shellfish,antibiotics(that includes residuals in the meat you eat) and just about every medication(prescription or over the counter) and lots of types of vitamins. Learn, then speak.

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 3:30 PM

Canned whipped cream was not banned. On the other hand, if a store opened that sold only canned whipped cream in a community with a high rate of drug abuse, I'd be skeptical. But I lack your open mind and trusting nature.

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 3:01 PM

@OP just because a product can be abused doesn't make it bad. Did canned whipped cream get banned when kids used it to get high? How about copper brillo pads, those are only good for making drug pipes,right? And you realize that to make THC oil you first have to have the Marijuana and extract it. And "dry herb" vaporizers are very different from ecigs, majority of Vape shops don't deal in the dry herb vaporizers. You shouldn't judge people from there look, suit or biker jacket, dont stereotype

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 2:32 PM

No one is questioning that the business is legal, and meets zoning requirements. So are pawn shops. So are wig stores. Sleepy's would have been legal in the old Marshall Fields, if they hadn't passed OP over. But not every legal business is desirable in a given location. Conor suggests that the products sold at Cignot are of higher quality than the gas-station versions. Perhaps more on par with a head shop version?

Mimi Jordan  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 2:11 PM

I agree. I mentioned earlier (WAY down in the comments) that I think the recent changes at Village Hall and the OPEDC will result in more coherent development strategy over time. Also, I think I heard that the Zoning Ordinance is currently being reviewed, maybe by the Plan Commission?


Posted: March 28th, 2014 1:31 PM

Didn't mean to infer that this business doesn't meet current zoning. That was more to say that this incident should help us revisit rules and adjust for the future.

Mimi Jordan  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 1:23 PM

I think we can conclude that this business fits the zoning. If it didn't, the article wouldn't be about signing a lease, it would be about Cignot going to the Zoning Board for a variance. That's the difference between this deal and the day care that was denied a variance a few years ago. The Zoning Board gave the day care a variance, then the Village Board in its "wisdom" reversed the decision. Landlord and daycare both lost $$ and time due to that capricious decision.


Posted: March 28th, 2014 12:33 PM

Sorry, that wasn't meant as criticism. It was about broader appeal can work in that location. IMO the village needs to have the same zoning discussion we're having about medical weed with the e-cig store. Where are certain businesses appropriate and where aren't they appropriate? We need clearer rules.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 12:26 PM

I don't understand the MSCM comment. I lived two blocks south of that corner for 19 years, so yes, I remember. And I stepped foot in there one time. Meaning, that a shop can be successful, have "broader appeal," even if I don't personally partake. But I think "broader appeal" may mean something different to some folks than "popular with enough customers to make it a viable business." Translation: Getting a sugar high, a caffeine high, a beer buzz, are acceptable. A nicotine high? Not so much.

Conor from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 12:15 PM

This thread is depressing. I thought I was raised in a more open-minded town. Skepticism is healthy, but are we really above considering that the bad publicity surrounding what are properly called Personal Vaporizers has been generated at least in part by pharmaceutical companies and others which stand to lose profits as smokers quit? Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but a lot of the "vape shops" I've seen are incredibly classy looking and are more like lounges than anything else.

Conor from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 12:04 PM

Wow. So much negativity coming from a couple posters. Vape shops carry higher quality products than gas stations, they actually know what they are selling and how it works, and a lot of times there are opportunities to sample juice before purchase and other things gas stations can't/don't do. There is a market for vapers, people who aren't quitting smoking or getting high but enjoy blowing big puffs of flavored vapor. Crazy, right? But then hookahs have been around for how long?

Conor from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 11:55 AM

Born and raised in Oak Park. Started smoking in high school, 6 years later I started vaping and I've been off cigarettes for almost 3 months. I've decreased my nicotine concentration in the juice I use from 1.8% to 0.6%. It becomes a hobby for a lot of people because there is a DIY aspect to a lot of the nicer equipment, and the option to mix your own liquid. I'm very excited to see this store!

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 9:10 AM

It's just a crappy sort of business. It sells a gas-station/head shop product used by two distinct markets-smokers trying to quit and kids who get high. My suspicion is that OP and RF have more kids who get high than adults trying to quit smoking. On the plus, it's legal, the owner seems well-intentioned, and the space is currently empty. I've said all along, you can only rent to people who want the space. OP retail continues to trend downward. That's not Ms Vasconello's fault, though.


Posted: March 28th, 2014 8:54 AM

Yes, tiny. But it used to be Marion Street Cheese back in the day (before it moved to the other side of the train tracks).


Posted: March 28th, 2014 8:51 AM

Gary, your science is shaky on what the CDC says about nicotine. It calls it a "toxic chemical" and says: "Nicotine is a teratogen (capable of causing birth defects). Other developmental toxicity or reproductive toxicity risks are unknown. The information about nicotine as a carcinogen is inconclusive." That's not ZERO risk. Some studies have shown it IS a carcinogen. It's only a matter of time before more science comes in.

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 8:06 AM

You're overplaying your hand here, Gary. Realistically, the "rough looking biker" from your example might not be buying his e-cigarette to stop smoking. People also use these things to get high, especially in public. it's become a problem in California schools (the vapor is harder to detect than pot smoke.) They're not sold in head shops for the convenience of stoners who are trying to stop smoking cigarettes.

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 2:35 AM

I have been an ex-smoker and a vaper for just under a year and It's great. The stink and cough is gone, I can taste and smell again and feel great. And the people who come to stores like Cignot are all types, and there all good people. you wanna know why they're so good? the answer is simple, because they have chosen to LIVE and are excited to share with others. Where else could you put a rough looking biker guy and a little old lady together and they act like best friends. A VAPE SHOP! No joke!

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 2:20 AM

LOOK IT UP YOURSELF. To date there has been one e-liquid death, 2011 suicide by injecting it. There has been other Nicotine deaths, but they were also suicide and they extracted there own nicotine from plants (2008 and 1999) And the magic number of 60mg to kill person is in doubt. 1 study by 1 man who tested on himself 150 years ago, no formal study since. From confirmed autopsy results, it was found that 500mg 1,000mg would be needed to cause death. Users of eliquid still should be responsible

Gary from Chicago  

Posted: March 28th, 2014 2:08 AM

Don't be lazy, LOOK IT UP YOURSELF!! The CDC states that there is ZERO evidence that nicotine is a carcinogen. The 1,300 "poisoned" from e-liquid is number of calls to poison control, not actual poisonings. Some 2012 poisoning numbers: 20,306 from toothpaste.54,445 from alcoholic beverages. 221,314 from cosmetics. 11,848 from pens and Ink. And ZERO accidental deaths. Look at some smokers numbers from the CDC. More than 480,000 deaths annually, that includes 1,000 infants and prenatal deaths

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 10:41 PM

A store with broader appeal? Let's be clear about the storefront we are talking about. It's small. Really small. You can fit like seven and a half people in there. This kind of shop, with a small-sized product, seems fitting.

Greg Tomita from Elmhurst  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 9:01 PM

All I am trying to say is if you don't like how things are run, then try and change them. Instead of just commenting on this board - contact your alderman, the city manager = people who have a say in this and let them know you are a little disappointed with what's going on. (You'd ask them to fill your pothole, right?)

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 4:49 PM

Elaine-I don't think anyone is opposed to saving lives. People would prefer a store with broader appeal. Cignot is a store for smokers trying to quit - a small segment of the adult population. They sell a product that can be bought a lot of places, as well as online. I'm glad the space won't remain empty, but local shoppers aren't thrilled about a store downtown specializing in an item most people buy at the gas station.

Elaine Keller from Springfield, Virginia  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 3:36 PM

I have been a Cignot mail order customer since 2009. I smoked for 45 years and have been smoke-free for exactly 5 years today. I'm grateful to Vicky and her staff for their helpful advice and efficient service. I'm astonished to read the hostile comments here. The customers who will patronize this store are the people who live and work in Oak Park. Many, if not most, will be like me--college educated and middle class. Surely OP residents don't object to saving the lives of smokers.


Posted: March 27th, 2014 3:32 PM

No, Bill... but I'll work it ;-)

VIctoria Iamgoingtostoptypingmylastname  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 3:29 PM

Yes, we spend a great deal of time training our customers. The road to not smoking is a personal one and requires individualized attention. Most of the electronic cigarettes we sell require care and maintenance and while they are simple machines, smoking is far easier. Thank you for the intelligent conversation!

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 3:22 PM

Do the e-cigars come in different rings sizes and a Maduro wrapper, Victoria? :)

Victoria Vasconcellos  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 3:21 PM

In order to 'boost' nicotine you would need a concentrated nicotine liquid. For instance, a lab that mixes e-liquid may get a solution that is 50% nicotine which would be 500mg (that is per ml). We do not mix liquid. We do not sell, nor do we have concentrated nicotine liquid. A high level that we sell would be 26mg or 2.6% nicotine and that would be suitable for a regular strength cig smoker. We carry various levels down to zero mg as the strength a person uses should match what they smoke.


Posted: March 27th, 2014 3:13 PM

My daughter is a regulatory bio-chemist. Her contention (in addition to the dangers of the liquid nicotine being ingested by children) is that many people overload the device with nicotine to enhance their 'hit'. This is dangerous to themselves and to others. Do you counsel patrons, Victoria, about proper usage of the device? Just curious. I haven't heard this aspect addressed at all.

Victoria Vasconcellos  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 3:06 PM

Yes, enough of a range to fill a store. It is our hope to have something that fits each individual taste.


Posted: March 27th, 2014 2:38 PM

Is the range of products available at Cignot different from that of area gas stations and head shops that already sell e-cigarettes? If not, why imagine that people will travel to buy an item they could also buy while pumping gas?


Posted: March 27th, 2014 2:29 PM

Wait a minute...true enough that burning tobacco is MORE dangerous to you. But nicotine is still a cancer-causing substance. Let's not pretend e-cigarettes are safe, Jeannie and Victoria. You're still slowly poisoning yourself.

Saddam from Iraq  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 2:25 PM

So, the Brad and OP Transplant, you two crybabies are both so well educated, successful and busy, but still have time to whine on the WJ board every time there is a story posted on a new business you do not like opening in OP. If you spent as much time investing in a new retail shop of your liking as you do whining, maybe OP would have the retail you allege it deserves.

Victoria Vasconcellos  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 2:20 PM

LOL! We actually do have an E-Cigar and I have been looking for E-Beer!

The Finer Things In Life from Oak Park  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 2:16 PM

Will there be an E-Scotch and E-Cuban Cigar store? As a well-to-do Oak Parker, these would tickle my fancy more than those E-Cigarettes, designed for the "common folk".

Luci Knauss from Nampa, ID  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 2:13 PM

I wish her the very best and much success. I'm all for e-cig vendors opening a store. There are many people who vape and definitely will support her business.

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 1:49 PM

Yeah, Saddam. After almost 30 years in my profession, with a graduate degree and a professional license, I'll close my office, fire my employees, and open a retail store. Because only people who own a retail store can have an opinion about the desirability of a local business. Sheer genius!

Jeannie Kerswill from Shinglehouse  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 1:49 PM

Congratulations Cignot. Four years ago you were one of the vendors that helped me break a 27 year smoking habit. I wish you much luck and success in helping other smokers step away from the terrible damage that inhaling burning plant matter causes. We all know that in and by itself, while nicotine is addictive, it is not what is killing smokers.

The Brad from Oak Park  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 1:42 PM

Irrational, illogical argument. I went to school and am gainfully employed in my profession. I don't have the time or inclination to start a business. That doesn't mean I cannot comment on business ventures where I own a home and pay real estate taxes. That's like saying if I don't like a movie, I should be forced to go make my own.

Jeff from Plainfield  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 1:36 PM

I've seen people doing the ecig thing in public, and it may be honestly the stupidest looking thing I've ever seen, and I've lived thru the fanny pack era of the 90s.

Saddam from Iraq  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 1:34 PM

Nice cop out by OP Transplant and The Brad. Instead of opening your whiny pie holes, how about you two opening your own businesses?

Victoria Vasconcellos from Elmhurst  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 1:12 PM

Muntz, that is a good question and that is at the discretion of the user. It was smoking cigarettes that was killing me. The nicotine addiction was only what made me stupid enough to smoke. Smoking is the part that kills and we, as adult smokers have the ability and right to choose.

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 1:09 PM

OP Expat - You misunderstand how this works. We pay a lot of money in taxes to live here, at least some of which is used to support local government, which has, among its other responsibilities, that of attracting desirable businesses to the village. It's not really the responsibility of the individual resident and taxpayer to start or attract retail businesses. Elmhurst works pretty much the same way. I'm also unhappy with the condition of my street, but I'm not going out to fill potholes.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 12:55 PM

"Jimmy from Hickory Hills", curious about your comment that an ecig store should be "the least of our concerns" since you visited here. Please elaborate. By the way, I've been through Hickory Hills a few times in my life. If Oak Park has problems, the Hickory Hills must be like living in Iraq.


Posted: March 27th, 2014 12:48 PM

While e-cigarettes may help you quit smoking, do they help you kick what is essentially a nicotine habit? Will traditional smokers be vaping for the rest of their lives or be slowly weened off of nicotine? Are e cigs becoming the Red Bull of nicotine addiction?

Jimmy from The Hills  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 12:13 PM

I have been to Oak Park quite often and to be honest I think an e-Cig store should be the least of your concerns. I wish them the best in their new location but most of all I am very optimistic that they will impact the smokers of the community in a positive way. Nothing worse then people that think they know everything and cant have their little bubble disturbed. Best of luck to you guys and gals. May you prosper and also silence the naysayers!!!!!

Jimmy from Hickory Hills  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 12:05 PM

As being a former pk a day smoker I am blown away by the backlash that I am reading on this post. When I first walked in to the CigNot store in my area I told them the desire I had to drop the habit of smoking. They gave me a break down of what the device does and how it can help. The guys were very professional and carried themselves as concerned people for those wanting to kick the habit. To compare this to a meth lab or drug operation is completely absurd.


Posted: March 27th, 2014 11:01 AM

Ironic that we shot down the daycare on the other side of the train tracks. People thought that was bad at the time. Oops!

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 10:35 AM

donna - where do you get that someone filing for a business permit is the equivalent of a city condoning what that business does. Unless there are specific zoning laws that prohibit a business from opening it's doors at the time the application is filed, local government has no choice but to issue the permit.

OP Expat from Elmhurst  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 10:26 AM

You can wish upon a star that a golf store or men's clothing boutique moves into OP instead of mattresses or e-cigs - and the same has been echoed ad nauseum for the former Border's - but obviously it is not happening. So, instead of complaining, what are You going to do about it? Find friends who want to open a business, use your contacts to try and get some company interested in OP, or put citizen pressure on the OP city govt. to recruit harder. Otherwise, you get what the market dictates?

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 9:50 AM

It's a legal business. The products it sells, while not exactly safe, are less dangerous than real cigarettes. It's better than an empty storefront. I wouldn't invest in it, but nobody's asking me to. Ms Vasconcellos has a right to try to make a go of it. It's not the crappiest short-term business downtown OP shoppers have endured.


Posted: March 27th, 2014 9:46 AM

Yes we can take our dollars and shop elsewhere, but I LIVE here and would like to not have to leave town every time I need an everyday item. Aside from the latest info regarding the liquid dangers, its too soon to have info re the potential health issues of ecigs. at this point I would prefer not to have any form of smoking being encouraged or implicitly condoned by Oak Park.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 9:31 AM

What's genuinely low class, Jason, is to accuse someone who only wants to start a business in OP, of an underhanded tactic such as you do, based only on your pathetic speculation.

Jason from River Forest  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 8:38 AM

Funny that Victoria shows up and posts here. I'm willing to bet the kids' lunch money that previous posts were from her too. Look at the writing style. There's no way THAT many people would be advocating for ecigarettes. Pretty low class move, business owner.

We could do better but won't  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 8:30 AM

I have no problem with the e-cig store being there. Is it trashy? Yes. Could we do better? Yes. But that involves a much more active level of recruitment and incentives to get the businesses we want and that fit in the community better. If we're unwilling to do the work to attract better businesses, we'll get whatever we get.

Victoria Vasconcellos  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 8:05 AM

Good Morning! Please relax, we do not sell to kids, we do not sell drug paraphernalia, we do not carry concentrated liquid nicotine and we are not scum. We give adult smokers an alternative to smoking tobacco products. Should our service and product prove to not be effective in doing that, there will be no demand and this product will fall away along with the companies who sell it. Cignot is a conscientious neighbor and we look forward to being part of the community.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 7:31 AM

Dear "shop elsewhere", I filed my federal taxes last night. I find your comment humorous, if not ironically "whiney" itself, as it seems that the "subsidizing" is coming from hardworking OPers like us. Heaven forbid you're a college educated couple earning over 150k. And there is talk of taking away the mortgage insurance credit as well. Unreal. Apologies for not wanting to "take a chance" and for being a "chicken".

Shop Elsewhere OP Whiners  

Posted: March 27th, 2014 12:33 AM

Please. If you don"t like it, don't shop here. How many of you yahoo's have he guts to start a business? Seriously, how many of you with negative comments about this business have ever taken a chance in business? Who pays your salary? The state? County? Another institution outside the public sector? Buck up buttercups, at least this woman is trying to take a chance. Unlike most of you chickens out there in OP who need a subsidized platform to pay your internet access bills. Babies u R.

Business As Usual  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 8:03 PM

News last night reported liquid used for e-cigarettes is poisonous, a teaspoon can kill a child, a tablespoon an adult. Warnings on bottles mean nothing to toddlers. Let's get the facts! Secondly, to read Mr. Gockel's comments! He says " What is there about Oak Park that deters reputable retailers from locating here? ...There is something about Oak Park that offends good retailers". Add builders, to that! Elementary Mr. G, it's current and past administrations hired help and their policies!

Jayne in OP from OAK PARK  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 6:14 PM

I love that, of the 35 +/- people who actually post comments on this board on a daily basis, it appears about 10 of them are e-cig aficionados. Hmmm. Time for an IP check, Oakpark.com. Shame on you. I'm with the rest of the contingent here. Would love to see a chocolate store there, perhaps a men's clothing boutique, maybe a golf accessory store. Ecigs? Pass.

Transparency from Op  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 5:38 PM

I love watching "gort" filibuster and pretend there's no connection to the owner. Eyeroll. Hi victoria


Posted: March 26th, 2014 5:25 PM

BTW, when I go to the Elmhurst Cignot store there are times when there are 15 people in that small store buying product. This OP store WILL bring in new foot traffic. And these customers are not meth mouthed degenerates. They are nice, educated people with credit cards. Elmhurst cops haven't tasered any that I know of.


Posted: March 26th, 2014 4:43 PM

OP has 100 places where one can buy cigarettes, yet you bad mouth a store that will sell an alternative for adult smokers. An alternative that I can personally endorse as ten times better than regular cigarettes, a boast that Big Tobacco and their in cahoots buddies at the FDA are trying to squash because they are afraid of the new competition. You prejudge the product and the people that use it as belonging on Skid Row. Excuse me Snobs of Marion St. I'll go to Cignot and then $pend elsewhere.

Austin City Limits  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 4:11 PM

If we can only get a wig shop and JJ Fish on Marion, we will be all set to drive those property values down the toilet. Good job libs.

LOL ooooookay  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 4:08 PM

LOL, did someone try to state coffee and wine are just as harmful as nicotine addiction? Nice swing and a miss on that one. Go back and do your homework because you just failed.

Jennifer Bailes from RF  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 4:03 PM

Yuck. Ecigs? No thanks.

Phil from Oak Park High End  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 4:01 PM

I guarantee this kind of establishment will serve more harm than good. By the way, cigar shop on Lake in River Forest = classy. ECig shop = not classy. Perception is reality folks.

Melissa from Oak Park  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 3:56 PM

This kind of store is an embarrassment to the Marion Street corridor. Oak Park can do so much better. Sad to see great storefronts and prime space be eaten up by ridiculous uses. Move this to Harlem in Forest Park next to the currency exchange and liquor depot.

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 2:37 PM

I'd sure rather see an e-cig store than an empty storefront. But, having said that, it's not the most desirable business. Downtown merchants want businesses that increase foot traffic. An e-cig store appeals to a very small segment of the population, since most people don't smoke them. It's not going to bring a lot of new shoppers to downtown OP, and most locals won't shop there either. It's better than nothing, but that's not a high standard.

So much anger  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 12:33 PM

How many of you whining about "nicotine addiction" enjoyed your morning "caffeine delivery system" in the form of a cup of coffee? Or perhaps you nightly "alcohol delivery system" with a glass of red wine? But right, I'm sure you justify those behaviors "because of the antioxidants". The adverse health effects of tobacco are not because of the nicotine, but rather because of all the tar and carcinogens that are inhaled while smoking.

Eileen Mink from Chicago  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 12:16 PM

I am 51 years old, quit smoking in 2010 thanks to personal vaperizers with zero nicotine. Cignot does not sell to minors. Ready or not OP, thanks to Vicky at Cignot, you will be the tax recipient of my business dollars. It amazes me that any OP business might not want my additional business while there. If so, please "man or woman-up" your shop name, and I will be certain to not shop where not welcome. Looking forward to the Chicago store. Stamping out cancer-stick addiction is grand!

Local Consumer  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 11:43 AM

Some of the frustration has to do with the lack of useful retail. I'm a middle-class professional who works in an office. If I want a white dress shirt for work, I have to leave OP. I don't buy funny little hipster hats, dog clothes, or e-cigs. I also truly don't know people who do, because most of my neighbors are like me. Outside of the Book Table, OP retail has very little to offer me, personally. I'm frustrated by the number of new stores that I know I'll never set foot in. Just my opinion.


Posted: March 26th, 2014 9:38 AM

@James from Hambug What you're reading is the real OP. Business people know this and that's why all they're all headed to Forest Park and Berwyn. OPs busy-body,anti-capitalist attitude shines thru for anyone to see. No respect for biz. Profit is a dirty word. So smart minds are going where they're courted and preferred--- not harangued. Soon there will be no $ for their progressive agenda. They'll have to fund it themselves!

James from Hambug  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 9:02 AM

I thought I've heard everything till I read this .These people get away with legal bullying and seem to be the most prudish ,stuck up ,better then all people in the world . And all because of a Vape shop opening .I would be ashamed of myself for saying some the things on here .


Posted: March 26th, 2014 8:00 AM

I'm looking forward to the new ecig shop. Anything to get the smokers to make the switch.


Posted: March 26th, 2014 7:45 AM

All the whining about Forest Park! Forest Park is doing well for one reason---it understands and respects the needs of the merchant class. I have several friends who have businesses on Madison. NONE of them would EVER consider opening a biz in OP. OPers are seen as pretentious twits. FP pulls dollars from all over----Berwyn, Cicero, (yes, gasp!) Elmwood Pk, Melrose Pk. I rarely shop in OP anymore for anything. Boutique prices are not competitive next to FP. Your high taxes drive profit away!

Adam Smith  

Posted: March 26th, 2014 6:50 AM

Retailers don't choose locations based on a marketing plan, they want to make money. The sales volumes of most retailers can not support the high costs, especially taxes. The solution is a little more difficult if you want a variety of stores. High margin (and cash) operations like restaurants and salons can survive, others will struggle.


Posted: March 26th, 2014 6:26 AM

Is is insighful that you dont fing ecig, wig stores, ot dispenser and payday lenders in RF or Forest Park. It is becuase they have a strategy, a plan, a board with players - Again, we need a strategy based upon what makes OP special, our competitve position and brand.

Bill Masterson from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 5:38 PM

Just wondering are we still a "Nuclear Free Zone" ? Maybe we should put the ecig question on the ballot. Another business we should look into is the over allotment of retail space to "health clubs". As someone who has put on weight; looking at these clubs in my travels around town has given me a poor self image. As every Oak Parker knows we are better than most and should never be made to feel otherwise.

Store leaving OP for FP from Oak park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:50 PM

Refined home is leaving oak park for forest park.

Sarah@OakPark.com from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:43 PM

One more thing: I can't say loudly enough how much I love our DTOP boutique's. HONESTLY, I think the location here is more in line with the train station than DTOP. I think folks who are worried should check out the other location in Elmhurst. I haven't, but I think it would assuage these fears.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:36 PM

Really OP, you want to circle the wagons because an e-cig store is opening? This store will be good for your town. I now take the train from Chicago to Elmhurst to buy product from that Cignot Store (best products and customer service out there). My wife and I make a day of it - after Cignot we go to a movie at York Theater, then dinner at one of the local restaurants. When the closer OP store opens we will go to YOUR town and spend our money there. I may "vap", but I don't bite.

Sarah@OakPark.com from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:35 PM

I'm going to weigh in here. I think that corner space is a tricky space to lease.This business isn't going to hurt it's fellow DTOP merchants. IMO. And that corner is a great location for a business just like that. I welcome the new business and traffic it will bring to a currently dead corner. It's not tobacco. It's not medical marijuana. It's not a cash n go location. And it's ok. This is high end. And it's expensive and popular. And it's tax revenue. It's the corner by Prairie.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:24 PM

www.casaa.org Here is a great resource to start with.

Alan Mullen from Hometown, Illinois  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:20 PM

Are you all kidding me?? You can't compare ecig shops to pawn shops, strip clubs and liquor stores! These types of businesses are a godsend for people trying to quit smoking cigarettes!! These shops don't bring in Riff Raff. And they certainly don't cater to Marijuana users. That's a totally different type of product. Educate yourselves before you assume.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:17 PM

Cignot is not only an extremely reputable business, but a leader in this community of vapers. You are fortunate to have an outstanding retailer coming to your area. You can continue to allow the media to mold your minds are you can leave the bubble and realize the reality of life is people smoke and this is a better alternative. Before you judge take a look in the mirror.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 4:06 PM

Hey Brad, and the other whiners here, where do you think you live, Oak Brook, Naperville, maybe Michigan Avenue? You do realize that retail in Oak Park has been on life support, right? The only real bright spot is the amount of eatery business that has come in lately. What do you suggest, hold out until Macy's comes back?

Rob from Chicago  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 3:59 PM

Brad- Have you ever seen an ecig store. There are many that would fit in just fine with a starbucks, baker, or boutique. They are not headshops, if that's what you are thinking. They appear high end....think cigar shop sort of, which I have seen in many nicer downtown areas of towns. I'm sure this will be no different.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 3:57 PM

I keep looking for someone to explain why a vape shop would be undesirable.Isn't this a Mom and Pop shop? Isn't the purpose to help people find the right setup to replace smoking tobacco cigarettes? I smoked for over 30 years, have 2 post graduate degrees, pay my taxes and abide by the law, but for decades I was treated like scum because I smoked. I felt like such a failure. Then, I stopped smoking and started vaping nearly two years ago. It has been a godsend for me. Now, I'm despised again.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 3:48 PM

The use is not so much a problem in my eyes. If there is a need for this store, I don't mind having it in the Village. Placing it along the brick pavered Marion Street in line with boutiques, bakeries, restaurants and what should be high-end shopping is illogical and an eyesore to be blunt.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 3:36 PM

Wow! I am glad I do not live in OP. You guys sound like horrible people. E-Cigs are saving a lot of us ex-smokers. I commend this person getting more people involved to quit smoking! And those kids using "liquid weed" at school, maybe their parents should be paying more attention to them and what they are doing.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 3:31 PM

I'm wondering if some of the folks complaining about the "desirability" of an e-cigarette shop have ever been to one. Brick and mortar e-cigarette shops offer smokers the opportunity to get help in finding the right device to help them make the switch from smoking to e-cigarette use (and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%). I've been to a few of the Cignot locations, and they're well-run shops with helpful and knowledgeable employees. It's a shame some folks are so close minded.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 3:07 PM

What store on Oak Park Ave (west side, just south of Lake) is moving to Forest Park too? Just saw the sign in the window yesterday.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 2:53 PM

Interesting that most of the products mentioned here are manufactured and based in China. If the owner really wants to drive "big tobacco" out of business, she will not offer their e-cig products such as Vuse (Camel) and Blu (Newport). Funny how the smoking industry has evolved and now embraces nicotine deliverance versus "real tobacco flavor". Big Tobacco will not easily relinquish control of the nicotine drug market.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 2:03 PM

LOL at "I realized I had control over my addiction," , you are addicted to nicotine and still getting it in your ecigs, but good luck with your business model of not hoping to make money

Paddy Boy  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 1:21 PM

Paddy agrees with Joe .... It's a free market - as it should be - if no one buys the product the store will shut down, (without government intervention, God forbid.) Or ... we could just appoint another committee to study the issue - after which we will all be dying for a smoke of some kind.

Roxann Lopez from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 12:37 PM

All of the reasons we moved to OP are disappearing. Pawn shops, gun shops, e-cig stores...really? This is the best you can attract? And people lost their heads over Sleepy's? More attractive businesses move over to FP every day it seems. Guess we made the wrong choice.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 12:04 PM

(Continued) I've been reading about this topic in the NYT over the past year, and it certainly seems that there is legitimate differences of opinion - both positive and negative - on its health impact. And let us keep in mind that there is no controversy on the terrible impact of cigarettes, and yet we allow them to be sold in our community.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 12:03 PM

I am not a smoker, but I have a friend who was a multiple pack a day smoker, who had a chronic smoker's cough, and who now, through e-cigs, has stopped smoking and coughing. She credits e-cigs with saving her life. I am well aware that anecdotal stories do not equal systematically collected data, but I would highly recommend, before we start attacking this business, that we do our homework and figure out if this is indeed the scourge on our community that so many folks are saying.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 12:01 PM

OP, "progressive intellectualism" is, by practice if not definition, "entitled exceptionalism". Rather than bashing the business, OP "progressives" should realize this result stems from the political left's unholy & unending addiction to the tax revenue generated by tobacco. While some may have held the good intention of improving public health,most in the liberal political class saw an enormous money grab.

Julie from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 11:43 AM

This really concerns me because a lot of young people are using these devices for smoking marijuana; this is a huge problem right now at York High School in Elmhurst. This location (in the heart of Oak Park) could draw a more community-friendly business in my opinion; I find it hard to believe that this was the only interested party--what a shame!

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 11:33 AM

much clucking about nothing. The business will not stand if there isn't a demand for the product. Apparently there is enough of a demand to open something up, if it survives all the better. Shuttered businesses don't generate foot traffic or taxes.

JH from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 11:19 AM

Transferring an addiction from one object to another is not "controlling it". You want to control an addiction? Quit. Glutted with eateries. Pawn shop. Gun shop. Considering a marijuana dispensary near Rush-OP Hospital. No decent options for shopping. Now this. Soon we'll be on par with the "less savory" neighborhoods we have the gall to complain about.

New to area, but seen it before from OP  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 11:19 AM

New to area (2yrs), but it appears that OP is little schizophrenic. Half the commentors want a place where everything is affordable AND quaint. Other commentors want a place where pricier business can thrive and bring in $$ to sustain the business. Although not mutually exclusive, my experience is towns need a lot a foot traffic to support a lot of little businesses and/or fewer feet who spend more...or have a industrial/office area to generate large tax rev -- that will necessitate change.

Making Lemonade  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 10:23 AM

Also, agree completely with Res No. 863. When Marion Street gets low income housing and a vegetable stand, let me know. At this point, I frankly enjoy the meltdowns over DTOP retail (or lack thereof).

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 10:23 AM

@Galen "A serious, thoughtful analysis is in order. Who will start it?" I agree, but I think it HAS started. It started with Anan's election, the resultant change in the board from meddlesome to policy-oriented, the revamping of OPEDC and village hall. As these developments mature, I think we will start to see a more coherent development strategy. In the meantime, better to have less vacancies. BTW, as a former smoker, I know how tough it is to quit, and I wish e-cigs were available then.

Making Lemonade  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 10:19 AM

Well, at least when the local kids decide to move to liquid pot they won't have to go somewhere else to buy an e-cigarette and the sales tax will remain in OP!

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 9:14 AM

I doubt that David King was weighing offers from an e-cigarette place and Tiffany. Just like the old Borders space wasn't being fought over by Sleepy's and Apple. At a certain point, you have to rent commercial space to the people who want it. Please understand that a village that is perpetually trying to increase its amount of subsidized housing is making a choice about what kind of retail it's going to have.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 8:53 AM

THIS is what's going in beside the Prairie Bread Kitchen space? This is in the vacant space that used to have kitchen cabinets and countertops, a major visibile corner on Marion Street? An Ecig store? Disgusting.

RF Dan  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 8:34 AM

Oak Park government then should turn down any new business owners if the OP public does not agree with their business model/product?? That does not sound like America to me. This is currently a legal business and product. OP residents determine what businesses succeed and are attracted to OP by spending money at these businesses, that is called Capitalism. Free market will decide overall OP business atmosphere, all government should do is minimize red tape for start ups.

oak park boutique from oak park  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 8:30 AM

As a small retail business owner on marion street, I am very disappointed to learn of this via a oakpark.com headline and not through the usual channels such as DTOP or the other shop owners. Obviously this was done without anyone knowing about it, as I know we would have all rallied against this. I am watching Marion Street's quaint shops being replaced by an eye care office, another salon and now an e-cig store. Why would any of us want to renew our astronomical leases here?


Posted: March 25th, 2014 8:21 AM

Awesome work by OPDC and interim John Hedges. Can't wait to see what's next! Oh they didn't have a hand in this you say? Exactly.

David King and property owner should be ashamed!  

Posted: March 25th, 2014 7:41 AM

I love the quote that the woman didn't start the business for money. Who does she think she is kidding?


Posted: March 25th, 2014 5:39 AM

We are quick to list all the reasons we are better the Beeerwyn, or Forest Park but let the people are real, no "I am so much better than you", hautiness etc. We need to drop the we have FLW, Hemingway House etc and get real. We need business, we crap does stink(oh it stinks!), we need to roll up sleeves and get back to basics.


Posted: March 25th, 2014 5:35 AM

OP's greatness was it's roots of progressive intellectualism that is now replaced by entitled exceptionalism. The is translates in to an explicit /implicit environment where OP acts as if business is fortunate to do business here and doing them a favor (to invest in OP). This coupled with red tape, lack of strategy and TIF means OP is the fu_ked. We need a culture change across school board, economic develoment etc to get our mojo back.

resident bored  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 11:57 PM

Oak Park is not business friendly. Oak Park is right next to Austin, Berwyn, Forest Park, which means high end stores would be overly dependent on more affluent residents and River Forest... Stores further west have more customers from a larger amount of affluent suburbs. TBH stores in Oak Park are lame. There really is no shopping experience here to write home about. I go to Oak Brook when I want to shop. I stay in Oak Park when I want to grab a t-shirt from old navy.

Galen Gockel from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 11:16 PM

The underlying issue here demands more than sarcastic comments. What is there about Oak Park that deters reputable retailers from locating here? 101 Marion should attract high-end retailers, but that didn't happen. Also, Harlem/Lake should attract more than a mattress store, given its prime location. There is something about OP that offends good retailers, who find LaGrange, Downers Grove and Elmhurst more attractive. A serious, thoughtful analysis is in order. Who will start it?


Posted: March 24th, 2014 9:42 PM

Any business that has Jenny McCarthy as a spokesperson, a mother that will freely ingest liquid nicotine but not vaccinate her children, should tell you all you need to know about e-cigs.

OP Resident #863 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 9:22 PM

So you've been watching Madison go to hell for years but now that a business you don't want is in the Sacred Brick Paver district has landed there instead of on Madison it's an emergency. That's what you get for not caring as long as it wasn't in your back yard. Don't look at me for sympathy or action. I gave up when you let my neighborhood decline.


Posted: March 24th, 2014 9:10 PM

Wow. Kudo's to the Village Manager and her new Economic Development conglomerate. Let it be a lesson to all of us. Look what high-salaried empowered employees can provide to the residents of Oak Park. Amazing, isn't it?


Posted: March 24th, 2014 8:52 PM

Perhaps we shop place this next to the proposed pot dispensor along with meth clinic, pawn shop, video gambling and payday loan store. This is what happens when you have no strategy.

Mike S from Oak park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 8:25 PM

Good or bad, (bad) people don't realize that the government can not stop a legal business from opening.


Posted: March 24th, 2014 8:16 PM

Obviously the communist party is still alive and doing well in Oak Park, based on the negative commentary here. All you blowhards who complain about high taxes would rather see a store dark and its owner paying a reduced tax rate than to see an entrepreneur take a risk and positively impact the village's tax basis. Your attitude and type are on the way out in Oak Park; we need more pro-business attitudes here and I am thrilled with Anan and his team's approach. Down with OP Putin attitudes!

Unhappy parent from River Forest  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 7:37 PM

What's next- check cashing, pawn shops and liquor stores on lake street?

joan haman from oak park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:56 PM

Oak Park used to be a go to place. Now it is a go away place. The shops with "class" are all running away and we are left with nail spas and tobacco stores. and high taxes. I know DK wants to rent things , but it should also require TASTE in types of business. e-cigs are not in our best interests!

Donna from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:56 PM

Words fail me. Completely.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:55 PM

101 N. Marion St, is the storefront just south of Prairie Bread Kitchen. Most recently was a kitchen and bath showroom.

Rowen from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:38 PM

This is, presumably, the old Crumbs location (next to Potbelly's)? If so, it's extremely disappointing that such prime retail space is going to such a disreputable business venture that is not in tune with the needs and interests of our community.

Forest Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:36 PM

Whoo hoo! Penzy's is leaving downtown (wonder where they will end up? Forest Park? Hmm?) and the cigarette stores are movin' in. Oak Park on the move!

formerly of from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:34 PM

e cigarettes are a drug delivery device, and what big tobacco was fined for in selling cigarettes then manipulating the effectiveness of the nicotine delivered by them. Maybe our smooth talking president can undo the federal and personal efforts, hugely financial, military, and political, to fend off the harms of marijuana (drug) with simply saying "we won't enforce the federal law", but that doesn't mean liberal ol' Oak Park has to be as foolishly short-sighted and validate this business.

Our future is going up in smoke, ahem... Vapor from Oak park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:15 PM

Well this makes perfect sense. A fabulous addition to our downtown footprint. And hey, observing anything for 30 minutes certainly will let you know the future of business in another location. I look forward to this business vaporizing sooner rather than later....

Marge Greenwald from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2014 6:13 PM

No one should approve an e cigarette store in Oak Park without reading the lead article on page 1 of today's New York Times (3/24/14.) There are many issues to be considered.

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