Friday, April 16, 2021

Clinton Street’s new smoke shop

Downtown Plattsburgh is home to a new smoke shop, and Plattsburgh State students welcome it.

Up in Smoke, located on 41 Clinton St., opened last month.

Its owners, Ria Dumlao and Mike Callahan, control two other smoke shops, located in Saratoga and Lake Placid.

The couple decided its third shop should be established in an area reflecting their target demographic — 18 to 22.

That’s right — college town.

“We did our research. We tried to go to college towns that are not too far from our main locations,” Dumlao said.

The duo said they’ve received a decent mix of PSUC students and locals who have been responding well to the new shop.

“They carry a good selection of quality work,” PSUC elementary education major Dylan Irish said, “which is nice because the only shop that really gives us that selection right now is State of Mind, and this competition is going to be good because it seems that both (Up in Smoke’s) prices and the service is of better quality.”

Irish is not the only one who feels State of Mind has some serious competition. Nathaniel Pfeifle, a marketing and entrepreneurial double major at PSUC, agreed that Up in Smoke’s costs and customer service are likeable facets.

“You’re going to have a better selection, better prices, they’re definitely more friendly. … It’s just a much more friendly environment,” Pfeifle said.

Walking into the store, one would likely be greeted by not only Dumlao and Callahan but also their three pet dogs, who like to chill on their beds behind one of the counters.

Irish also praised the location of Up in Smoke.

“It’s more convenient in terms of accessibility for any student, but it’s also … the feel is better,” he said. “It’s a little corner store in the middle of downtown Plattsburgh; it’s an old place to walk around. It’s nice.”

Irish is a server at Sawatdee Thai Restaurant, a local establishment that, until recently, had been located about two blocks from Up in Smoke.

Since its downtown location closed, Sawatdee now operates out of their uptown restaurant on Route 3.

He said Dumlao and Callahan visited his workplace over the summer and spoke with him to ask what he thought about the shop they planned to open.

“I told them it would be a great idea, and I’m really happy they went through with it,” he said.

So far, Grav Labs have been one of the shop’s more popular purchases, according to Callahan.

Grav Labs, located in Austin, Texas, provides Up in Smoke with the majority of its glass, with prices ranging from college­-budget affordable to connoisseur­-suited expensive.

The owners acknowledge, however, that it’s the cheap stuff keeping their business afloat.

“It’s hit and miss on the artist stuff. It’s like Nike and Reebok: You got to want Reebok; you got to want Nike to come and spend that money on the larger brands … any of the import (cheaper) stuff has been fantastic. I mean, that’s where we got our start and it helped us pay for (the expensive products).”

Up in Smoke offers a 20 percent discount to any PSUC student who presents his or her school ID, Callahan said.

“If you look at it in a business sense, (Dumlao and Callahan) are kind of like geniuses,” Irish said. “They really just figured it out off the bat, and it’s really hitting it off, so obviously they’re doing something right, and I think Plattsburgh is going to be very profitable for them.”

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