©2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL Curtis Hance and his mother, Rita Hance, are running the new H&H Vapors business located next to the veterans Memorial Building and near Denton TV shop in Newport. This is a unique electronic cigarette business and first of its kind in our area.
Friday, August 23, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-08-23 23:18:43)
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

The end of August is fast approaching whether we like it or not, and we have as yet to see much hot weather in our hometown despite my farmers calendar’s prediction of scorching days. But the full moon did arrive last Tuesday night and the next one Sept. 19 will be the harvest moon as a prelude to autumn.

Through some light showers I’ve been able to get out and visit folks especially many new businesses and their operators. Everyday I see another new business open and hope this is a positive trend in our town. We have been talking about the outdoor theaters in Newport, film exhibitionist Harold Smith and his former employees like Tommy Williamson. I will soon continue on this serial installment though not as popular as Flash Gordon.


New businesses I’ve seen


A Plain Talk mistake in identifying a new business led me to discover a most interesting enterprise that opened near Denton’s TV, because they own the building at the side street by the memorial building. Our story reported that “H&H Favors” was a new member of the chamber of commerce and partnership. The business owner, Curtis Hance, called and politely corrected this. H&H Vapors really identifies this business, which does specialize in flavors and might do some favors for those who want to quit smoking tobacco for health reasons. I learned that electronic cigarette sales are already a billion dollar industry and new around the world. Don’t confuse his product with the older mechanical cigarettes that deliver nicotine and water vapor. But let me tell you more about Curtis and his family. His mother, Rita, was at the store and both are Newport natives, though he lives and has businesses in Eastern Kentucky.

You know a few Hances, such as Anthony Hance, retired firefighter, who is in top shape and competes in triathlons at age 60. Curtis strikes me as being more of an entrepreneur and is a graduate of Berea College where he attended as a 1996 CCHS grad and football player, too. This was when coach Larry Williams was at the end of his football career. That is why Curtis ended up living in Kentucky. You may know his grandparents, Rufus Hance and the late Louise Hance. Curtis is the only child of Rita, who is no longer married to Mark Hance. His brothers, Mike and Marlin, work for Newport Utilities. Rita’s family are the Stranges, Clyde and Ruth Strange of Dutch Bottoms, and that makes her related to Tim Strange, who owns the auto paint and body business off Industrial Road. Many, many years ago Rita and her sister, Clara Howard, operated a flower shop in her home off Highway 411. This would be just past what was Dewey’s Market. That business was called H&H Florist. So, now we have another Hance & Hance business.

Curtis is a former smoker of Camels and credits the new electronic cigarette with quitting and saving his lungs and cash. What is unique about these vaporizing units is the many flavors available with or without nicotine. I tried the banana cream pie and it was a delicious effect with no tobacco sting, as I am a non-smoker. Curtis also likes the fact that the majority of vapor flavor companies such as Pit Bull Vape Juice are in the US. This company makes a Newport blend. H&H Vapors stocks at least 70 flavors­–moonshine, cherry, blueberry, are among these. The business opened June 1 in what used to be a pawnshop location. Tommy Denton and John Strange own the rental property. Curtis, age 35, has a background in gem supplies and jewelry sales and has a land holding company in Kentucky. “We’re the first brick and mortar in the region,” he said, glad to bring this new business home.


New in food & drugs


There’s another new dining place in town, the Dojo Japanese Restaurant opened on August 1 at the Newport Plaza. Having heard about this last Tuesday, I stopped in that morning in time to see Magda Hommel drive up as did Guy Hommel Sr. We talked a minute and she said she liked the Japanese food. Guy is more of a meat and potatoes guy, at age 86 and she is 83. They look forward to their 65th wedding anniversary on September 11. Dojo Japanese Restaurant is operated by owner Nyoman Suprapta, with whom I talked, and his partner in the business, Imade Budaryawan. Nyoman is from Indonesia and has been a chef in Pigeon Forge. They have local connections as he has lived in Newport for about five years. Nyoman said it was time for him to work for himself instead of others. He is a hibachi cooking expert and Imade is a specialist in sushi. They serve from lunch to supper and have hired several local employees.

After passing along Highway 25/70 west of the shopping centers, I must have passed by without noticing a new pharmacy, which opened on Monday. So, I drove up before Kiwanis Club meeting at the Family Discount Drugs and met the owner and pharmacist, Charles H. Boggs. He is from Cumberland, Kentucky, and at one time operated seven pharmacies but is down to one now. How did he end up in Newport? His wife, Elaine, formerly a Nelson, lives in Dandridge. Though she is from Hamblen County. Some of you may know her father, Joe Nelson, who was the first UPS driver for Newport area. 

Copyright © 2014, The Newport Plain Talk