Citizens of South Carolina: Are you ready for the ultimate vaping experience? If so, you’re in luck: Gamecocks legend Jadeveon Clowney is teaming up with some industry heavyweights to bring you Kure Columbia, “the Starbucks of vaping,” according to Kure chairman Marty Sumichrast, who discussed Clowney’s foray into the vape space with The Ringer. Here’s what we learned:
Does Clowney vape? Sumichrast, who’s been mentoring Clowney since 2008 and calls him his fifth child, insists that the Texans defensive end doesn’t vape. “That’s not his thing,” he explains, which presumably comes as welcome news to Houston coach Bill O’Brien, who may or may not vape. (The Texans declined to comment for this story.)
So, despite being a potential vaping tycoon, Clowney doesn’t vape? Look, if his longtime adviser says he doesn’t vape, then I have no reason to believe otherwise.
How can Clowney vouch for the quality of Kure’s product, then? While Clowney may never know the delights of Kure’s famed Gone With the Wind blend, he’s a fervent believer in the overall Kure experience. After visiting a Kure store with Sumichrast earlier this year — the company boasts 10 locations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida — Clowney thought it was “really cool,” per Sumichrast, and pushed to get involved.
What exactly does the Kure experience entail? I’ll let Kure’s fascinating website explain: Kure “isn’t your dad’s vape shop” (the South must have some cool dads!), it’s about “discovering your own unique flavor profile with the expertise of your own personal Kurator.” Kure is designed for folks who “vape for the punch, the fullness. For the experience.” Moreover, Kure brings “vaping to your community and community to your vaping.” I could continue, but you should probably just read it for yourself.
Did Michigan running back Vincent Smith hit up Kure to take his mind off Clowney’s devastating hit in the 2013 Outback Bowl? I’m not totally sure, but if I had to guess, I’d say he did:
Is Clowney entering the vape space for any nonfinancial reasons? He is! Clowney’s mother, Josenna, has been trying to quit smoking for some time now, and according to The State, Clowney “felt like vaping … might be better for her.” Sumichrast says this is “one of the huge things we market,” although FDA regulations prohibit Kure from making specific claims about any potential health benefits of vaping.
Does Kure Columbia feature any other notable investors? CNN contributor and former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers — whose friends include Usher and possible vaping enthusiast President Barack Obama — is a minority partner in the franchise. Sellers has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, so I asked Sumichrast if Clinton was going to visit Kure Columbia on the campaign trail. “I’d love Hillary to stop in,” he says. “Maybe we can get a Hillary for President juice … and if I do a Hillary flavor, I’d have to do Trump for President flavor.”
Will Steve Spurrier be making any appearances at Kure Columbia? “I have absolutely no idea,” Sumichrast admits. Nevertheless, let’s take a moment to revel in the possibility of Spurrier, Clowney, and Hillary Clinton vaping together.
Will Kure Columbia feature any Clowney-themed vape flavors? You bet! “We’re coming out with the Clowney Hit, which is our proprietary juice,” Sumichrast says.
When can I take a hit of the Clowney Hit? Kure Columbia opens on July 19, so clear your schedules accordingly. Clowney is set to attend the grand opening, and who knows, perhaps fellow Texans J.J. Watt and Vince Wilfork will be around for the festivities. They may be better defensive linemen than Clowney, but they don’t got the juice.