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There’s a little-noticed change happening throughout the nation with the introduction of high-end head shops that strive to deliver a unique shopping experience and better customer success. We’re calling these locations headegas, as they combine the best of both head shops and bodegas.  

You’ve probably heard the word bodega, but you may not know exactly what it means. In fact, in the United States, bodega means a boutique grocery and novelty store, while in most other countries, it refers to a wine shop or wine cellar. Given that kratom is currently classified by the FDA as a new dietary ingredient, albeit one with psychoactive substances, both definitions of bodega hold a kind of relevance to kratom consumers.

Corner grocery store with a bodega styleTraditional wine cellar bodega

If you want to learn more about headegas, you’re at the right place. Let MIT45 help you discover examples of modern headegas, why these stores are worth visiting, and how industry changes could shape the future of the headega trend.

Examples of Popular Headegas

While the headega hasn’t reached mainstream popularity, some stores around the country have acted as headegas for years, if not decades. Here’s a closer look at featured retail locations that were ahead of the times.

The Cupboard (Cincinnati, Ohio)

The Cupboard is one of the oldest head shops in the nation, opening its doors in 1965. Now in its third generation of ownership, The Cupboard began as a five-and-dime store selling small trinkets and other inexpensive items. 

In modern times, The Cupboard is the go-to source for Ohio residents and visitors looking for bubblers, steam rollers, pipes, bongs, chillums, vapes, slides, adapters, and much more.

Lala Land Smoke Shop (La Puente, California)

If you ask many people around La Puente where to go for vapes, cigars, and smoking accessories, most would refer you to Lala Land Smoke Shop. This local spot is well-stocked with artist-exclusive mats and glass pieces. It also carries an incredible variety of rolling papers, grinders, and more. 

Satori Imports (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)

Satori Imports is a head shop lover’s dream. This incredibly popular and enduring local spot is your home for all things counterculture. Satori Imports carries incense, crystals, tapestries, chimes, smoking devices, shirts, and a product category this company refers to as “random stuff.”

Should You Buy Kratom Online or in a Head Shop?

As cool as the local neighborhood headega may be, it might still make sense to buy kratom online. Check out the following factors to help you decide the best option.


Understandably, cost is a major factor when you’re buying everything from kratom to a new car. Generally speaking, prices are typically lower when you purchase something online. 

That said, don’t let a few over-priced brick-and-mortar locations fool you—it’s possible to find fair prices at local shops, including headegas. Another important pricing-related factor to consider is that, even for smaller orders, you won’t pay shipping fees for in-person purchases.

Product Selection

Variety is the spice of life: When most people go shopping, they want at least somewhat of a selection of products to choose from. Some individuals prefer having a massive selection of potential things to buy.

Again, as a general rule, most online stores have larger product selections. Typically, that’s because e-commerce stores have fewer and lower overhead expenses than brick-and-mortar stores (leasing or buying a physical space, utilities, etc.,).

The Waiting Game

Thankfully, the modern world of e-commerce lets shoppers receive their orders quickly. At MIT45, we typically fulfill orders within a day or two. Along with our two-day shipping, most of our customers receive their orders within 3-5 days, especially outside of the holiday shopping season. 

Still, some people understandably prefer to get what they paid for right away. If that sounds like you, buying your kratom and other head shop goods locally might be the ideal solution. 

Being Sociable

While shopping online can sometimes yield lower prices for everything from kratom to smoking accessories, this shopping method provides no social opportunities. Because of that, some shoppers don’t mind spending a little more money to speak to shop owners, employees, and/or run into someone they know.

A big part of the new headega experience is working hard to do away with the secrecy of head shops and smoke shops from the past. Instead of keeping their head down and being afraid to ask questions, modern headegas encourage shoppers to want to know more about kratom, its uses and effects, and general advice.

Returning Your Items

Unfortunately, nearly everyone can recall a time when they purchased something they didn’t enjoy or mean to purchase. Whether you bought something defective or had a change of heart, having an easy way to return products is understandably important for any consumer.

Assuming they have a standard return policy, returning products is less complicated when shopping at brick-and-mortar stores than online shops. In fact, we’d be cautious about head shops where all sales are final. 

While we don’t accept returns of products that have already been mostly consumed, if you’re unsatisfied with any MIT45 product, let us know and we’ll return or replace your order no problem.

Future Trends in Kratom Head Shops

As you await the potential rise of headegas, what other trends can you expect for kratom head shops in the future? Here are a few potential changes that could be coming your way.

Try Before You Buy

As attitudes and laws continue becoming more progressive, some industry advocates believe we’ll see headegas stocked with kratom and similar products in a try-before-you-buy setting. One way to accomplish this is at a kava bar, most of which sell kratom products as well. 

In fact, kratom may be used for all kinds of reasons. Many of our customers like kratom as a pre-workout for their fitness routine. But it’s also true that kava and kratom bars offer the kind of social experience that many people are interested in as a backdrop to their kratom experience. 

Euphorbia kava bar in New Orleans

The Euphorbia Kava Bar on Oak Street in New Orleans.

Going the Way of Dispensaries

In November 2012, Colorado became the first U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis for adult use. Within the past 10+ years, one state’s decision has given way to states, including California, Missouri, Illinois, Virginia, and Ohio to vote on and pass recreational marijuana usage laws.

Even states such as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, and South Dakota currently allow medicinal marijuana usage, something that even the hardest-fighting marijuana advocates from the mid-2010s would have been surprised to see happen.

A reason behind the continued popularity of dispensaries is that they sell regulated, inspected, and tested forms of cannabis. Dispensaries in Colorado and other states where marijuana is recreationally legal must abide by guidelines forbidding the sale of untested products. Likewise, the future could see kratom-only dispensaries selling lab-tasted and regulated kratom.

Final Thoughts

Will headegas become the next big thing in the kratom industry? As of right now, it’s hard to say. It’s already possible that you have a local gem in your neighborhood that’s worth checking out. While no industry is exempt from dealing with changes, we’re optimistic that positive changes are coming to kratom including a higher standard of customer success, as the industry busts old myths and stigmas.

Marcus Pickett

With over 15 years experience in copywriting and content marketing, Marcus doesn’t stop digging until he’s found the truth. He’s excited to apply his experience in the health and wellness industry to kratom’s unique potential. Marcus is always up for trying something new but has an enduring passion for yoga, hiking, golf, swimming.


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