At EJuice Magazine, all we wanted for Christmas was to sit down with the CEO of Fresh Farms E Liquid, Tony Devincentis, and Santa came early.
EJuice Magazine: Why Fresh Farms?
Fresh Farms: Because it was time for a change. Here I thought you were going to ask why we started the company.
EM: That’s probably a good place to begin – What inspired you to start this company?
FF: We had a group of friends, current and former smokers, some of us tried vaping. Our friends and families were tired of us smelling like smoke and continuing to do something that we all knew was killing us. Vaping seemed like the future. The guys who founded the company are just incredible. So talented and so driven. We felt that there was this massive opportunity to develop a brand that represented who we are. Something we could deliver on. I had worked in a standard corporate 9 – 5 job for a decade. I was full of ambition and felt like I had finally come across something where I could use my skillset to help people in their journey away from traditional tobacco products. We were inspired to create a collection of flavors that we could enjoy on an everyday basis.
EM: Where did the name Fruitia come from?
FF: We generated hundreds of names. The consumer demand for fruit flavored vape products is off the charts. I was determined to find a one word, global name that had not been associated with any other market – beverage product etc. We felt like a lot of people in the industry came up with a name, grabbed some clip art and ran with it. We wanted to develop something special that no one had ever seen before. On a side note I have to say, one thing that we secretly love about the name is that no one is quite sure how they should pronounce it at first: it’s kind of a mystery. It’s one more thing that makes us unique.
EM: You have been extremely forward thinking in terms of your company’s messaging. Your No2Minors Campaign has been cited as one of the industry’s gold standards for responsible marketing. What do you feel a vapor company needs to represent or carry as its message?
FF: Our intent with the company has never been to get people starting to try nicotine products; our intent is to convert adult smokers to vaping. We take the under 21 legislation seriously. The messaging behind our products has reflected this from day 1. We work with our wholesalers to ensure they oversee responsible marketing and sales practices because we want our industry to not only survive, but to continue to thrive long-term.
EM: How did you feel about the PMTA process?
FF: Although the PMTA process is in its initial stages, our submission was hands down the most demanding project I’ve ever been a part of. We’ve had everyone from world-class labs, lawyers, clinical directors and project managers rowing in unison to demonstrate that our products carry less carcinogens and are a healthier alternative to traditional smoking products. We are close to going on to the second phase, where we will be working with PhD’s on the FDA side, completing more testing to further validate that our products are a safer choice than traditional cigarettes. We are seeking to prove that with scientific evidence, and to this point, our HPHC testing has absolutely demonstrated that.
EM: We see Enjoy The Journey on many of your materials and it seems like you’ve really taken that to heart.
FF: We stand behind Enjoy The Journey. Anyone who owns a small business knows there are ups and downs. This year has been so difficult for so many people out there. There are fresh challenges daily. And that’s what makes this group so special. We all pick each other up and support each other. We want to see each other be successful, our team, our wholesalers and our customers. We go to sporting events, we travel the world together. We meet people who tell us that Fresh Farms and Fruitia have helped them on their journey. That’s why we do what we do. We aren’t sitting in the office, watching the clock. We bring that attitude and commitment into the office with us daily. Then we take that culture with us out into the world. I can say wholeheartedly that it’s the first place in my life where I look forward to showing up every single day.
EM: We’ve heard companies in the industry talk about their partnerships with Fresh Farms.
FF: They do. It’s much more than just a business relationship for us. We are looking for long-term relationships. We are on the road every week, showing up and shaking hands. From the company decision makers to the staff in-store, we realize that these are the people – our friends – who represent us, our products and what we are all about. So grateful we have these relationships worldwide with people we respect and are proud to call our friends, or partners if you will.
EM: We noticed you rebranded Fresh Farms, why did you feel like making that change?
FF: We launched Fresh Farms to fill a national demand. Once that demand became international, we wanted to elevate our design look and feel to speak for us on the global stage. When everyone is speaking different languages, you need the images to elevate above the words themselves. We felt that going into the challenges presented by the PMTA process, we had an opportunity to take another step forward with unique design that appealed to a fully adult demographic. We are continually looking to elevate and innovate.
EM: How do you help your wholesale customers as well as your retail customers?
FF: We align with our partners through our marketing department. We work closely with them to identify their needs, their strengths as well as where they need additional reach and support. Because when we do that successfully, ultimately the customer online or in-store reaps the rewards: great products at great prices, exciting promotions, an educated staff and a community of people who at the end of the day, can enjoy their journey together.
EM: If you could talk directly to the people who choose your products, what would you say?
FF: I’d like to thank them all. Thank you for choosing us, for supporting our business. The simple truth is that vaping changed my life for the better in a major way, and I hope it changes yours as well.