WORTHINGTON — Five years after opening a local business in downtown Worthington, a local entrepreneur cut the ribbon on a new venture this week.
Jesus Ordaz has owned and operated New Gen Studio since 2016, offering men's and women's haircuts and other cosmetic services.
At age 24, he's now the owner of two local business.
As he's spoken with customers, friends and acquaintances, Ordaz said he's heard from many people that there was not a smoke shop nearby, and folks had to drive all the way to Windom or Luverne to visit the nearest such merchant.
"After I saw there was a demand and low supply, I started to explore the idea," Ordaz said.
He did research about the viability of a smoke shop and what it would take to open one, and decided to take the plunge.
New Gen Smoke Shop officially opened its doors Friday, May 21, and had a ribbon cutting with the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors on Thursday morning.
The shop shares space with New Gen Studio, taking up the southeast end of the storefront at 421 10th St. New Gen Smoke Shop offers e-cigarette (or vape) cartridges in more than 60 flavors and ranging between 300 and 2,000 puffs each. Also on the menu are glass tobacco pipes and rolling papers, for smokers who prefer to DIY.
Since opening, the new business has been well received by the community, Ordaz said.
"My main focus right now is to get the word out," he said. The Chamber ambassadors welcomed him warmly Thursday and offered their congratulations on the new venture.
New Gen Smoke Shop has also created new jobs in the community, employing three store clerks.
As his businesses grow, Ordaz intends to offer even more services in his salon/smoke shop storefront.