When you see the name Incredibowl, you might recall Snoop Dogg’s use of the company’s i420 Double Barrel Shotgun on stage during this year’s Riot Fest, or the video where Incredibowl’s owner, Mike Cupo, runs over one of his shatter-proof pipes with his car to demonstrate its durability. You might think of the 19 Cannabis Cup awards the company has received over the years, but beneath the celebrity endorsements and award-winning pipe designs is just a basic and unyielding commitment to their clientele, with products meant to last their lifetime.
Cupo credits Incredibowl’s customer-oriented philosophy to a simple conversation between his father and an outdoor recreation retailer. After getting a new puppy, Cupo senior decided to order a pair of fuzzy slippers, but unfortunately he wasn’t the only one with an appetite for footwear. “His new puppy chewed up the front of them,” Cupo recalls, “but the back was also coming unstitched, so he took pictures, and he’s like, ‘Listen, I know my dog chewed these up, but as you can see there’s no chew marks back here where it’s coming unstitched,’ and no questions asked, they sent him a new pair.”
That simple gesture of trust and goodwill stuck with Cupo for years, eventually motivating him to build a company that customers know they can always rely on. Incredibowl stands behind all of their merchandise, and prioritizes customer service above all else. That’s why they put a lifetime warranty on their flagship product, the i420, and they tell us every product upgrade is made to be reverse compatible; if you have an older unit, you can still buy accessories.
“We want to keep [releasing] new products without compromising our product ethics,” Cupo says.
The idea for the Incredibowl came in 2008 while Cupo and Mitchell Shenassa, the company’s co-founder, were enrolled in CU Boulder. On 420, the two friends went to the quad to celebrate, and were astonished by what they saw. Joining them were thousands of other students, and a whole lot of cannabis.
“I grew up in Florida,” Cupo says, “and I’m sitting here with a joint and there’s cops standing over there, and nothing happened … nobody got into a fight, nobody got hurt. We were kind of shocked.”
In that moment, Cupo and Shenassa had a premonition: Colorado was going to fully legalize cannabis, and soon.
“We knew everyone was going to start growing it, and everyone was going to start selling it,” Cupo recalls. ‘We figured there really hadn’t been much in the way of development as far as paraphernalia, so we thought we’d jump in and make a new pipe.”
By 2009, Cupo and company had engineered the first incarnation of the Incredibowl, a smoking system designed to outperform and outlast every other product on the market. To make it unbreakable, they built the expansion chambers out of shatterproof polycarbonate. To enhance vapor flow, they integrated high-grade 6061 aluminum, and to ensure resistance to chemicals and extreme temperatures, they crafted the bowl out of Colorado-blown borosilicate glass.
Needless to say, the first few product runs sold like hot cakes, but in order to truly distinguish themselves from the competition, they knew the company needed serious momentum. So they traveled to Amsterdam, entered the Incredibowl into Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup, and walked away with 2nd Place in the Best Product catagory.
The recognition gained from the Cannabis Cup helped Incredibowl expand their business. Able to hire more people and increase production, they established a devoted customer base. Eventually, the team moved from a rundown building in Longmont to a roomy Boulder warehouse. As a bonus, the warehouse sat a mere two blocks down the road from their machine shop, and suddenly their laser engraver was just across the parking lot.
“We keep everything local,” Cupo says. “We put ‘Made in Boulder, Colorado USA’ on all the units…we haven’t sold a single dime bag of weed in this whole thing, yet we’re putting millions of dollars into the Colorado economy.”
The company’s sense of pride can be seen and felt just by walking around the office. Press clippings decorate the walls and older product models fill the shelves. In the research and development room, Cupo even keeps a yellow binder stuffed with initial product sketches and mockups.
But while the Incredibowl team certainly pays the proper respect to their humble beginnings, they’re very much focused on the future.
“We’re always improving products,” Cupo says. “We’re refining the carb and the smoke injection so you can tune it to your liking, if it’s dabs or flower or whatever. We’re going to make it clog less. We’re going to make the glass a little harder to break.”
In addition to continuous improvement, Incredibowl is also dreaming up completely new products. The Snoop Dogg-approved i420 Double Barreled Shotgun may be garnering the most buzz, but the team is also hard at work on something they’re calling the Milk Machine. This little box of wonders chills and condenses cannabis vapor to such a degree it can be pumped into a mug. Cupo describes it as “smoke in a cup.”
The Milk Machine is still going through revisions, but when it does go into production, you can bet loyal fans of it will receive the fuzzy slipper treatment as well. Years after Cupo’s father received that complimentary pair of slippers, Incredibowl customers are still treated with the same kindness. This is based on a fact they say they will never take for granted: Customers are the lifeblood of their company.