Despite being the owners and operators of River City Vapes, Adam Cuddeford and Derek States don’t smoke.

“We don’t vape. That’s the ironic part of us making vape products,” Cuddeford said. “It’s actually kind of hard for me to advocate for it because I’ve never smoked cigarettes and I don’t vape but (consumers) love my product.”

Cuddeford started River City Vapes in December, quickly joined by States. The company — based out of Troutdale and Happy Valley — manufactures battery packs and mods for electronic vaporizers. Photo Credit: OUTLOOK PHOTO: TROY WAYRYNEN - Adam Cuddeford, right, President of River City Vapes, and Derek States, Vice President of River City Vapes, hold authentic vape mod's Thursday Jan. 8, 2015 in Gresham.

“The owner of a local vape shop contracted us to design a mod for them, and then his financing fell through,” Cuddeford said. “We realized, you know if we were able to do it for someone else, we’re able to do it for ourselves. It’s just blown up from there.”

River City Vapes recently formed a partnership with Source Code Vapor, which has already placed an order for 1,500 mods.

“We’re going to make an exclusive line for them,” Cuddeford said.

Part of the rapid interest in River City Vapes was sparked by attendance at the 2015 Oregon Vape Festival.

“They referred to the quality of pieces as art,” he said. “We’re considered artisans in the mod making industry.”

So far, they produce four different sizes of mods ranging from the large Columbia River 26650 model to the pocket size Snake River 18350. Cuddeford said they were surprised at the reaction to the smallest mod.

“It’s actually really popular. It’s just something we came up with to show our capabilities,” he said. “But several store owners over the weekend at the show have really liked it and requested it. At the show it went crazy, so we have to start making more of those now.”

While production space is limited at this stage, Cuddeford said he expects the need to expand will come quickly.

“By the end of the year we’re probably going to need a 5,000 square-foot space,” he said. “It is all kind of risky right now. To add that kind of overhead is scary really.”

Especially, Cuddeford said, as many cities are looking to ban e-cigarettes, which would hinder his business.

“Our goal is to use this industry to earn enough money to acquire a larger manufacturing facility where we can manufacture other things that weren’t vape related,” he said. “We plan to put most of the money into the company to acquire larger, better machines.”

Unlike other producers in the vape industry, Cuddeford said he doesn’t expect to make these products forever.

“Everybody in the vape industry is like do this, do this, do this, like it’s going to pan out forever,” he said. “I don’t vape so I don’t have tunnel vision on just vaping. I want a facility that I can make everything for everybody.”

This might include firearms, which he said parts are easy to manufacture.

“Anything that anybody wants to bring us, is what I’m really looking forward to getting in to,” Cuddeford said.

For now, he’ll enjoy expanding River City Vapes as the little company moves through 2015.

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