SE Store Chain Profile by Larry Kaplan

Adam Hedrick and Loretta Goodling of the Excitement Superstores explain how they’ve successfully integrated smoke products into their inventory, and why they believe these products have been a valuable addition.

(Note: This story appears in the February 2024 issue of SE Magazine

As more adult retail locations begin to add smoke products to their inventory, we spoke with Excitement Superstores’ Regional Manager Adam Hedrick and buyer Loretta Goodling about when, why and how they first began to introduce smoke products to their inventory, and how their smoke shops differ from their adult locations. 

SE: Excitement Superstores pioneered adding smoke accessories to your adult products mix. When did you start selling smoke accessories, and what led to that decision?

Hedrick: Excitement owner David Betesh’s father owned a Philadelphia record store many years ago. And as a late teen working in the store, David told his father, if we sell pipes in our store, they’ll do well. His father allowed him to put pipes in, and, for that time, it was successful. So I think it’s always been ingrained in David to put smoke stuff into the adult stores. Excitement has been very smart to wait for the passage of local legislation so localities would become more comfortable with the selling of this in their townships

Approximately 15 years ago, as I came on with Excitement, we started selling smoke stuff in one store. The national conversation on cannabis was starting, and we started adding smoke departments into each of the adult stores. At one point, I did the buying for the smoke stuff; everybody here was adult, and nobody knew the smoke world. I was slightly familiar with the culture, so I found vendors, and we started growing the departments in each store. Once the department grew to a point where we didn’t have any square footage left to expand, we’d look for another location that was close, often in the same shopping center, maybe even connected to the adult space. That gave us the luxury of opening a new business, expanding the company, and already having an existing clientele instead of having to grow something from the ground up. The smoke shops have been very successful.

SE: Given the success you’ve had in this area, would you recommend that other adult stores consider selling smoke products?

Hedrick: We at Excitement believe that who better to do it than adult stores? And like the smoke world, we have always operated on the fringe of the retail industry, so it always seemed like a perfect marrying of two fringe industries for us. However, I would say that it’s less common to see smokers comfortable with the adult product than vice versa. Different strokes for different folks, so we just tried to figure out a way to operate with that in mind in the most respectful way to all of our customers.

“We at Excitement believe that who better to (sell smoke products) than adult stores? And like the smoke world, we have always operated on the fringe of the retail industry, so it always seemed like a perfect marrying of two fringe industries for us.”


– Hedrick

SE: And what are your demographics for smoking accessory customers? Are they similar to those of your adult products customers, or do they markedly diverge?

Hedrick: I would say the most significant difference that we see is a younger demographic. But sometimes I’m shocked when I see what I consider elderly customers in the store (buying smoke products), and it’s like, good for you, look at you, living your best life!

SE: What smoke shop products and accessories do you carry? 

Goodling: We are a higher-end smoke shop, so we carry a lot of high-end glass, water pipes, and hand pipes, many of which are hand-blown. Our top glass brands in our smoke shops are Heady, Illadelph, Roor, Medicali, and Zong. We also carry grinders, rolling papers, vaporizers, and pens because everyone uses a cartridge nowadays. 

Larry Kaplan has been the Legal Correspondent for ED Publications for 22 years. Mr. Kaplan is a broker in the sale and purchase of adult retail stores and adult nightclubs and the Executive Director of the ACE of Michigan adult nightclub state trade association. Contact Larry Kaplan at 313-815-3311 or email