An Interview in THE OUTER LIMITS (Smoke Shop)
By: Scotty B. Whytsell and Rachel Anders
Warning: This article is for Tobacco Use Only. Any use of the â€œBâ€ word may result in you being banned from reading the rest of this exciting interview.
With that being said, let us tell you about our trip to The Outer Limits Smoke Shop in Oceanside. Walking into this place is like walking into a toy store for adults.
The Outer Limits Smoke Shop opened in 1997 and is still run by one of the two original owners and his wife. The second partner was bought out 13 years ago.
The following are excerpts from my interview with the innovative owner.
How have you maintained the best glass selection in North County San Diego for so long?
It was our original goalâ€¦to be the BEST in San Diego.
What are the most popular products sold? (plastic, glass, vapes, etc.)
Thereâ€™s something for everyone, from the cheapest to the most expensive. Weâ€™re trying to be the â€˜Walmartâ€™ of smoke shops, in that we are cutting prices through volume purchasing power.
As an avid shopper, I have to comment that you have also been selling some of the coolest stuff too! –Bags, shirts, posters, jars and stickers to name a few. I always know where to send people to get their smoking accessories!
We have one of the largest selections of pipe bags, and four showcases of scales. We try to accommodate everyone. One part of our competitive edge is our â€˜Rolex shopâ€™ atmosphere with bright interior, not dark and drab. We really try for the â€˜WOWâ€™ factor, carrying low-end to high-end products. Our staff is helpful and knowledgeable. We change up the inside layout twice a year to give the shop a new feel. Young or old can feel welcomed.
How many glassware lines do you currently carry?
–Too many to countâ€¦or so I thought. But before I could finish my thought, we were out the door of the office and counting the glass upon the wall.
Anyone know how many lines we carry now?
A few guesses were thrown out as the count went onâ€¦
Shelby Black, ROOR, ZOB, Liquid Science, and, donâ€™t forget the latest line Outer Limits is carrying, Illadelph. It is like the â€˜Rolls Royceâ€™ of glassware.
What is the most requested line? Weâ€™d say Baker or Heavy back in the day, now Roor?
Most requested? Thatâ€™s hard to say. Money is a major factor for customers. Two to three years ago, it was art/colored pieces. The market trend is leaning towards Scientific.
How has the business changed with the introduction of California Proposition 215?
Business has gone up.
Have you faced any opposition from community or special interest groups?
Weâ€™ve had no problems. Weâ€™ve been â€˜Grandfathered in.â€™ All pipes are for â€˜tobacco use onlyâ€™ and we ID customers that look younger than 18 (only 18 and older are permitted inside the store).
What type of glass do most customers request? (glass on glass, artistic, size, etc.)
Glass on glass accounts for about 80% of requests, leaving the remaining 20% divided among the other options.
He chuckles as he is reading my interview questions, and I knew exactly which question he was reading! –How many people have you had to escort out of the store for saying the â€œBâ€ (-ong) word?
Maybe one or two over the years. We are nice and polite the first and second time, but ask them to leave the store on the third warning. This keeps everything in accordance with the law.
How many pieces do you sell on a good day?
Any new locations would bring a drop in quality. We spend 12 hours every day working to make things happen. We thought about an additional location, but there are a lot of obstacles. We have more lines coming. We also have a wall of hookahs and hookah tobacco, as well as 16 types of vapes! We currently have 41 showcases with eight more coming soon.