Ginger’s e-Juice – American Made Gourmet Goodness – The Interview – John Manzione, Editor, recently sat down with Ginger and discussed Ginger’s e-Juice Inc. and other topics to accompany the review of Ginger’s e-Juice line.
SPINFUEL: Tell our readers why you decided to get into the e-Juice business.
GINGER: When I first started out, I wasn’t necessarily looking to get into the business end of it. I just wanted to make an e-Juice that I could personally be happy vaping all day. At the time, the only e-liquids available at my local retail store were all made in China. I wasn’t happy with any of the Chinese e-liquids out there – at all. Not only did I not like the taste of them, but I also had some negative side effects from them as well. When I started reading more about how the industry was unregulated, I got concerned. I wanted to make sure that I was putting top quality ingredients into my own body. (I had smoked for 20 years. I figured I had put enough filth into my body. I wanted to do something different.) So I did a lot of research, and a lot of testing, and I finally came up with a few flavors that I really loved. They tasted fantastic to me, and I was finally happy with the idea of vaping again. Instead of struggling to try and stick with vaping, I was ENJOYING it. It became apparent that using top-quality ingredients made a huge difference, not only in taste, but also in enjoyment. I started letting other people taste them, and as they say, the rest is history! J
SPINFUEL: Who inspired you to get into the e-Juice business?
GINGER: All of the credit goes to the owner of my local e-Cigarette retailer, Russ Rankin of Toot-Suite LLC, located in Wildwood, FL. In all honesty, he is the entire reason why Ginger’s e-Juice exists. Most retailers would probably be offended that a customer had the nerve to try and make something better than what they were selling… but not Russ! He was intrigued. His wife (and his parents, and his customers) also tasted them and loved them. Russ finally asked me if I could make enough for him to sell at his store… and THAT was the exact moment that Ginger’s e-Juice, Inc. was born. That was approximately 6 months ago, and I only had 3 flavors at the time. With his help in tasting recipe after recipe (after recipe, after recipe), along with feedback from his wife and his customers, I now have 35 flavors, with many more on the way. (Side note: If you happen to be near Wildwood, FL, please be sure to go to Toot-Suite and give Russ a big hug. He deserves it.)
SPINFUEL: How many resellers stock your e-Juice?
GINGER: I currently have 5 locations that carry my e-Juice. Some stock more flavors than others, and some stock more of my e-Juice than others, but all have authorization to sell my e-Juice at their stores and/or websites. There is a map of their locations on my website; under “Vendor Locations” (The link is underneath the banner.) You can either click on their map marker, or scroll below the map itself, to see their contact information. There are many more potential retail vendors that are currently tasting my e-Juices, and I am hoping to have more locations soon!
SPINFUEL: Why is American Made e-Juice so important today?
GINGER: As I mentioned earlier, this is currently an unregulated industry… and that’s a pretty scary thought, considering how popular it is becoming, and how fast the industry is growing. Not only does it make the individual consumer a little concerned, but it makes government officials concerned as well. There have already been huge movements to try and shut the whole e-cigarette industry down. To make things worse, there are way too many online e-cigarette scams out there to count. At some point, there will be regulations that American-based companies must adhere to… but there’s no way to regulate products made overseas. They might have to adhere to their own countries regulations (whatever those might be) but unless they are made here in America, they will never be held to our standards. It’s still a very new industry, though, and it will take quite some time for enough testing and research to happen, to determine what regulations need to be made. This is yet another reason why I believe that it’s important to use only American-based products, especially while testing is still on-going. I believe that quality American companies, who use the very best ingredients to start with, have everyone’s best interests at heart… and they will continue to produce quality products, and gladly adhere to regulations, when the time comes.
SPINFUEL: How did you come up with so many amazing flavors?
GINGER: (blush) How can I seriously answer that question and still stay humble?? Let’s just say that I am VERY happy that you like them enough, to say that they are amazing!! J
SPINFUEL: How long does it take to go from an idea to the final product?
GINGER: There is no real exact answer for that. Each flavor is different. Sometimes I get lucky, and get it perfect on the 1st or 2nd try. Others take weeks or months… if at all. Some flavors are easy, and some are seemingly impossible. Also, most flavors take at least 7 days to fully develop. That is a very VERY long time to wait, to see if your recipe idea tastes as good as you hope it will. It takes an incredible amount of patience (and note-taking skills) but I’d like to think that the finished product makes it ALL worthwhile.
SPINFUEL: Can you tell us a little about your background?
GINGER: Well, as if you couldn’t already tell, I’m a bit of a nerd. I’ve always been good at science and math… so I guess this is all a bit of perfect symmetry in that regard. I’m normally a Civil Engineering Designer, specializing in the Land Development end of things. (Road design, storm water and sanitary sewer design, water line design, etc.) I’m no stranger to Chemistry, though… I’ve always loved Chemistry, and always got wonderful grades in it. I’m also a very good cook (thanks to my wonderful Mother) and it’s always been fun for me to take food recipes and make them better. So, in a way, making e-Juice is literally mixing all of my experience together. I’m still being creative with flavor profiles… and I guess you could say that I’m still trying to get liquid through pipes… it’s just very different pipes now, and much better liquid.
SPINFUEL: Safety is a huge factor today. Tell our readers what kind of measures you take to make sure that your e-juice is safe to consume?
GINGER: There is a whole lot to it, so I’ll try to highlight the main areas, without boring everyone senseless. I “brew” up my batches of e-Juice in glass Erlenmeyer flasks. The measuring containers that I use for the individual ingredients are glass cylinders. I use glass for everything, because it’s easy to clean, and easy to autoclave, to ensure a sterile “starting point.” After the “brewing” process is finalized, the e-Juice is poured into sterilized pharmaceutical sample bottles, which are then labeled, dated, and stored in a dark, closed cabinet. Also, when it comes time to bottle up the e-Juice for consumers, there is no chance of cross contamination of any kind. I do not use a syringe or pipette, or anything that could possibly be contaminated from previous use. Each flavor has several of its own dedicated Yorker dispenser caps. These get sterilized on a routine basis, and stay capped on the pharmaceutical sample bottle until that bottle of e-Juice is emptied. This way, the e-Juice goes straight from the large pharmaceutical sample bottle, to the small sterilized bottles for consumers. This all might sound like a little bit of overkill, but I put this stuff into my lungs also… and I’m a bit of a perfectionist… as if you couldn’t already tell.
SPINFUEL: How important is it to use pharmaceutical grade PG, VG? Do you use distilled water? Are there any “filler liquids” in your juice?
GINGER: U.S.P. Pharmaceutical grade PG, VG (and nicotine) is very important, because they meet the U.S.P. standards and criteria that have already been established, and are trusted worldwide. These ingredients (combined with or without nicotine,) are the entire basis of e-Juice. If any of these basic ingredients are sub-par, or deficient in any way, you have inferior e-Juice. It really is that simple. Great ingredients make the basis of great e-Juice. I use distilled water to autoclave my equipment/containers, but I NEVER use distilled water in the e-Juice itself. There are never any “filler liquids” in my e-Juice, either. That is a cardinal sin, in my book. I take great pride in my e-Juice, and I would rather go out of business, than use cost-cutting measures that would jeopardize the quality (or purity) of my e-Juice.
SPINFUEL: Is your flavoring organic? Are they also “American Made”?
GINGER: Organic is almost a misleading word these days, as it means so many different things, to so many different types of people. Personally, I think it’s misused way too often. Organic can mean pesticide-free (and yes, my e-Juice is absolutely pesticide-free). It can also be a way of free-thinking (i.e. the ideas for my e-Juice came about organically.) But in the chemical world, organic means that it once came from a living organism and is capable of decay… and in that regard, my e-Juice is absolutely NOT organic. My e-Juice has absolutely no actual food value whatsoever, and has no real living organic matter in it. Therefore, it is able to sustain a shelf-life without refrigeration. I keep all of my sample trial recipes and periodically check them for “funk” and I have yet to see any organic growth whatsoever. This is very important to the consumer, as well as the retail store owner. Both can be reassured that e-Juice purchased from me, is as good on day 1 of shipping, as it is on day 60+ after shipping. (In fact, some of my e-Juices get BETTER with age.) As for flavoring being American Made, 90% of my flavorings come from US-based companies. The other 10% come from a very well known and highly respected company based in Italy. Absolutely ALL of the flavorings that I use come from companies that offer full disclosure on diacetyl (known to give “popcorn lung”) and I stay completely away from those flavorings. (I don’t even know if they are good, because I will never test them.) Rest assured, NONE of my flavorings come from China.
SPINFUEL: How can you make sure that your flavors are always consistent, that each batch delivers the same flavor and nicotine levels?
GINGER: I don’t want to sound rude, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?? (giggle) It makes no sense to me, to come up with the perfect recipe after ALL the hard work of perfecting it, and not be able to re-create the same recipe time after time. I will admit that sometimes when making the actual batches of e-Juice, something distracting happens. Either the phone rings, or the doorbell rings, etc. (Insert Murphy’s Law here: “If something bad can happen, it will.”) This is why I “brew” up my e-Juice in small 240ml batches, so that if there is ever any doubt, it’s not absolutely devastating to have to throw the whole batch away. Sure, it’s a costly thing to do, but it sure beats having inconsistent e-Juice and/or unhappy consumers.
SPINFUEL: How many flavors do you offer today? Which are your favorites?
GINGER: As of this exact moment in time, I have 35 flavors of e-Juice, with 4 more on the “coming soon” list. I try to space out the new flavors, so that everyone has a chance to try out the last batch of new flavors, before even newer ones are introduced. New flavors get pushed to the forefront all the time… sometimes I have already perfected the recipe, and sometimes I need to create them from scratch. It’s all about demand, and necessity. I have approximately 20 other flavors already perfected also. As for my favorite flavor… that’s a tricky question, because I love them all! (Except for the menthol flavors… I’m not a fan, but I try my best!) My personal all-day-favorite-vape is Kinda Sorta Shady…. But that’s MY personal taste. If I had to pick a non-tobacco flavored e-Juice for all-day-happiness, it would probably be Basket o’ Berries, or Juicy White Peach. (Or Rockin Raspberry, or Fizzy Grape Soda, or Spearmint). See what I mean?? I love them all!! OH – and I didn’t even mention Chocolate Coconut Almond!! That’s like dessert, without any calories!! YUM!!
SPINFUEL: Why should our readers buy their e-Juice from you?
GINGER: Well, that’s a personal choice, and I’m certainly not some egotistical maniac that insists that everyone buy just from me. That’s unrealistic. I think that people should try e-Juices from many different sources before deciding on where to buy their e-Juice from on a long-term basis. Not only that, but they should purchase it a few times, to make sure that it’s consistent. With that said, I’d like to think that my e-Juices offer what many people are currently looking for in an e-Juice. These days, people don’t want to vape anything made in China anymore (checkmark) and they don’t want anything made with inferior products (checkmark) and they want to make sure that they are choosing something that will stand the test of time (checkmark there too.) Most Americans are proud, and they want to support American-made products, that are made with American ingenuity and American pride (HUGE checkmark.) Bottom line, if I can help people ENJOY vaping, then my work here is done. That is the entire reason why I created this company, and the entire reason why I continue to work so tirelessly to keep creating quality products for everyone to enjoy.
SPINFUEL: Lastly, What are your plans for the rest of 2012 and beyond?
GINGER: As I’ve stated a few times already, the whole reason why I created this company, and my line of e-Juices, is to help other people enjoy vaping as much as I do. I feel that the best way to DO that is to have Ginger’s e-Juice available in “brick and mortar” local retail stores, so that people can taste the flavors at their local e-cig store before making a purchase. They can also start vaping it immediately that way, instead of waiting (and paying) for shipping. Ultimately, I would love to have at least one retail vendor location in every major city across America… but I would need to expand my production facility quite a bit, for that to be possible at this exact moment in time. For now, I’m looking to find approximately 10-15 more retail vendor locations across America… and grow from there.
SPINFUEL: Well, I think that about wraps it up. I would like to thank you for allowing us to speak with you about your wonderful American Made juices, and for fearlessly going first in our month-long e-Juice Celebration. It’s been terrific fun to try all your e-juice flavors! They are all terrific! So, any new flavors coming up that you might want to tell our audience about? Any Pina Colada down the horizon (laughs)
GINGER: HAHAHA!! Yes, John… I’ll start working on a Pina Colada recipe right away!! I promise!! I might even name it after you, if you still want to help me “perfect” the recipe, and be a part of the R&D process!! In the meanwhile, the flavors that are listed on the “coming soon” list should be out soon… and they are amazing!! Blueberry Streusel (yum, yum, yum) Caramel Cappuccino (oh my gosh, is this one good) Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie (this one will bring back childhood memories for SURE) and Strawberry Shortcake (I am completely in love with this flavor, and the idea for it was created by a customer at Toot-Suite, in Wildwood FL.) There is also a new menthol flavor that I’m currently working on, that has a lot of mint undertones, and a stronger menthol “zing”. My version of the wildly popular RY4 should be coming soon too… but I’m still trying to make it absolutely perfect.
Since this interview is drawing to a close, I would like to take this chance to sincerely thank everyone at Spinfuel Magazine for all of their time, attention (and lung power) in reviewing my e-Juices. I have been very impressed during the last few weeks, to see the care and passion that you put into the entire process. I truly can’t thank you enough, not only for the attention that you have given to my e-Juices, but also for the work that you do for the e-Cigarette community as a whole. The entire e-Cigarette community is a much safer (and more informed) place, thanks to people like you. I am honored to be part of your wonderful reviews, and I am humbled that you chose Ginger’s e-Juice, Inc. to lead the way in this month-long e-Juice celebration.
HAPPY VAPING, EVERYONE!!