Meet BordO2 – the subjects of the latest Vapouround cover story providing some of France’s finest flavours
For centuries, the port city of Bordeaux, France, has been synonymous with wine, art, culture and beauty. Thanks to a vaping boom, it can now add a special e-liquid market to that bounty. Such a place naturally provided endless inspiration to Oliver Medina, founder of BordO2 and Oliver has kindly told Vapouround the company’s story in full.
“It started in 2011 as an oxygen bar which also had e-cigarettes available for patrons to buy,” he says.
The business soon branched out, opening a total of six vape shops with 2012 being a big year for the company when it successfully manufactured its first recipes. As French vaping grew in popularity, Bordeaux became to perfect host city for a vape expo.
“Everything changed in 2014, after the first VAPEXPO in Bordeaux,” says Oliver.
“It was our first vape show. We were the first company in France to use glass bottles with inspired visuals. There weren’t as many French brands as today on the market at the time, so we were able to establish ourselves as one of the top ten straight away.”
BordO2 is now a marvel in the French vaping world, taking off and growing with the tremendous speed often seen in those companies which capture the imagination of the public. Its juices can be found in over 200 shops around the country.
“A major moment for us was wholesaling in the UK for the first time. We were able to do this with the help of Vape Importers. Last year we entered a partnership with CRFT Labs in California and had our juices manufactured there, tailored for the US market.”
BordO2 have developed a solid ten flavours overall, which have been FDA-registered, though only five of them have been released – the rest eagerly awaited by their loyal followers and the vape market at large.
Like its namesake, BordO2 remains closely tied to good taste and distinctive flavour. The world of e-liquid flavours is an ocean of creative brilliance, often veering into the absurd, the abstract and over-the-top when it comes to names or tastes. This is by no means a bad thing. Fantastical flavours and unexpected names have led to some wonderful marketing campaigns and memorable mascots, but some companies, such as this one, benefit from keeping things simple and accessible.
“The taste is what we claim it is,” says Oliver. “There are no differences between what you’ll read on the label and what you’ll taste when you vape it. If we claim it’s a strawberry cake flavour, we won’t rest until we’ve perfectly recreated the sensation.”
BordO2 accomplish this by involving every member of the 40-strong company in the crafting process, which is thorough, consisting of multiple trials before completion.
“We have our own factory, fully automated production lines and we work with many flavourists. Sometimes we’ll develop multiple versions of a single flavour, sometimes we’ll combine existing versions into the final product. We remind ourselves that here in Bordeaux, good produce and taste is important. We grew up surrounded by high standards of taste and marketing.”
As the vaping industry within France grew and evolved, so too did BordO2’s approach. For example, Oliver remembers a time in 2013 when most juices came in 10ml plastic bottles. BordO2 put out a range in 20ml glass bottles with unique shapes, a range with a presentation style described as, “much more fun and sexy” than most available products.
Never content with resting on their laurels, BordO2 are now pushing their latest project, the HOLD-UP range – four flavour concentrates which were released in January. The uniquely-named juices are, in Oliver’s words, “strong, a bit crazy, but classy; eager to break into the market.”
As the face of a global, cosmopolitan industry always mindful of its allies and partners, BordO2 would like to thank Vape Importers Limited, Vape Club and Vaporized.