Discovered a new B&M...in my town!

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by kreinhard, Oct 28, 2010.

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  1. kreinhard

    kreinhard Member

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    Having grown increasingly unhappy with my local B&M (good for cigars, not so much with the pipe stuff; they also have a burgeoning head shop business going, too, I think, based on the number of skate kids in there the last time I visited) I searched on Google for other tobacco shops near me. I didn't want Admiral or one of the other discount tobacco shops, so I figured I'd have to drive at least 30 minutes to find another quality place. I was shocked to learn there is a second cigar shop in town, and even more surprised when I called and they said, "Yes, we do have a limited selection of pipe tobacco."

    I drove over after work, and the owner (very friendly guy) wasn't kidding. No bulk tobacco anywhere, and the choice of tinned tobacco was Davidoff Blue, Davidoff Danish Mixture and Savinelli Cavendish. I had been hoping for something in a flake, and maybe something by the ever elusive SG. Not wanting to leave empty handed, I asked if they carried pipe lighters as my stash of wood matches is dwindling. The only pipe lighter in the whole joint looked like one of those ancient Old Boy lighters I remember the pipe smokers of my youth using. It was chrome with lines, but did have a removable tamper/pick. Hrmmm. The owner (did I mention he was super friendly?) invited me to make an offer on any of the pipe stuff I might be interested in. We chit-chatted a bit, and I learned he has exactly two regular pipe customers. Both are very particular about their tobacco and he stocks "their brands" specifically for them (he didn't say what they were). I thought it was swell of him to offer to order any pipe tobacco I might want, as long as I promised to buy it only from him (like I could go anywhere else in this town, even if I wanted to!).

    Anyway, he was a cool young entrepreneur, and I wanted to encourage the continued competition, so I threw out $75 for the lighter and one each of the Danish and Cavendish. He shrugged and said, "Works for me." So, now I'm the new owner of a couple of tins of tobacco which don't seem to be highly regarded (at least on tobaccoreviews.com) and a lighter that I know next to nothing about. It's a chrome job with verticle lines, takes butane, made by Corona? Is that the beer company?! I'm not even sure what the tins of tobacco go for normally, but I feel like I did OK, and he was happy, so there we have it.

    The best part, though, is I found another B&M! YAY! Oh, did I mention the shop is open and well lit? Furnished with a couple overstuffed leather couches and a large table (for playing cards, I figure) it looked comfortable. He even had a little refrigerator for refreshments (I happened to notice it had a small stash of Genius Beer...er, Guinness...inside) and free coffee. Dang; this is customer service! So, now I just need to discover which tobacco I like the most and give him some more business.

    Don't mean to gush over something so simple, but...I'm stoked to not have to deal with the people who didn't want to sell me anything other than dry house blends and overpriced no-name pipes (well, they were stamped "Made in Greece"). YAY again!
     


  2. jhe888

    jhe888 Member

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    You did good on the price of the lighter. It is a Corona Old Boy, and the usual price for that one is right at $100.
     
  3. Unforgivin

    Unforgivin Active Member

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    Always great to be able to help a local business grow that actually has a clue what customer service means. You never know, with that few pipers for the place you could turn out to be #1 on the list with the perks that go with it. :thumb:
     
  4. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    Kreinhard,

    Nice score on the Corona! You got a deal.
    Sounds as if you can smoke in the "lounge".
    If so, it could be a great place to go have a
    smoke. Once a week I'd go to my local in
    Phoenix and smoke until I got a decent dose
    of Vitamin N. Company was always great,
    and I didn't have to worry about offending
    anyone whilst smoking.

    Plus, if you're ever in the doghouse, you'll
    have a home away from home! ;)

    dp
     
  5. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    That's awesome and I myself am deeply jealous. Every B&M I've been to around here is the same old story: no tinned tobacco, only bulk "house" blends and if they have pipes, they only cary ones that are way outside my price range. There's one more B&M I can look into, but based on the inflated prices on their website, I don't think it'll be worth the trip.

    You're wise to think of patronizing that B&M you found for the long term and it sounds like the owner is hoping to see you return again and again. Please keep us in the loop on your visits to this fine establishment so we can enjoy them to, at least vicariously.
     
  6. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Nice score!

    The Davidoff Danish is a natural aromatic and high quality tobacco. At first I couldn't get myself to like it, then I discovered how best to handle it, and now I'm loving it!
    - try it out in different pipes, took me a while to find the briar which it tastes best in
    - smoke it when you're relaxed, reading a book or tinkering in the workshop
    - let it go out once in a while and relight, you'll appreciate the flavor more when you're not puffing away at it
     
  7. kreinhard

    kreinhard Member

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    jhe888: Thanks for the info. Guess I did OK, then. I used to have an old (late 60's or early 70's) duPont in orange lacquer that a friend had given me. Can't find it anywhere, though, which was a huge bummer. This one looks similar, but is chrome not gold and lacquer. Seems to work well, even in the wind last night.

    MikeB: There are perks? Nobody told me about perks! Heh. Seriously, I'd have him order a bunch of different tins for me to try out, but it looked like he has to order a box at a time, and I'm guessing they don't move very quickly. I'd hate to saddle him with stuff I'll never buy again because I don't like it. Once I get squared away, though, I'll definitely give him the business; hell, I'm going to go back up there this weekend and pick up a couple of cigars just because (I don't really *need* them...)

    Snake
    : Hadn't thought of going up there to enjoy a smoke. With the big screen TV he has, that might be doable. Especially after my adventure in the gusting, biting winds last night. Wasn't hard to keep the pipe lit, that's for sure. Actually, I discovered that one quarter of our covered patio is perfectly situated relative to the prevailing winds. They breeze rips past it at an angle, swirling into the corner just enough to carry the smoke away, but not so much that it's freezing cold. That might be different once the snow flies, though. We'll see.

    Bri2K
    : That's a bummer. The town I live in has a population of about 43k, so it's not very big. I was shocked to find a second non-discount tobacco joint. The owner told me he's been there for 11 months. I drive by the place maybe three times a week and I've never noticed it. Which is crazy, as there's a big green sign out front next to the road. Maybe check out Google maps and see if there's one you don't know about in your area. You never know...

    Dondi
    : Thanks for the tip on the Danish. It smells great, but I haven't tried it. I smoked a bowl of the Savinelli Cavendish last night. It tasted just like it smelled, which surprised me. My recollection of tobaccos from 20 years ago was that if they smelled good, they probably burned horrible and tasted like wet ass (oops can I say that here?). It stayed lit all the way to the bottom with only a couple of tampings and no relights, which was also a surprise to me. I'm guessing I got lucky with the packing. HAHA. The only problem I have with it is that I woke up this morning with pipe breath and that taste in the back of my throat. If there were a way to prevent/eliminate that, I'd be happy. I'll definitely smoke the rest of the tin, though, as it's "full bodied" and that's cool. Will give the Danish a try in the meer and see how that goes.
     
  8. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

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    Congrats on the pipe-shop find. You might talk to the proprietor about the other pipers there...set up a get-together with them. Maybe get together one evening a week?
    My nearest shop is just over 100 miles away. Great shop with all the amenities but too far for a regular thing.
     
  9. Whalehead King

    Whalehead King Active Member

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    I've been blessed by always having a tobacconist nearby where I lived. I didn't plan it that way, I've always lived in fairly dense cities even if they were small ones. Even when I was a kid and not interested in a pipe, there was a tobacconist of Main Street in my town (Chief Catoonah) with a wooden Indian out front.

    I rarely do any online shopping and when I do the experience pales compared to doing it in person. You are not needlessly gushing about something simple. You are excited to have discovered a treasure. A place like this makes your weekly routine more interesting. I look forward to running to the tobacconist every week to pick up my supply, chat with the staff, and maybe linger with whoever is smoking in the lounge, on the porch or on the garden patio. When you've got a shop like that, even if cigar smokers are the majority, you know you are not alone in enjoying fine tobacco rather than sucking on cancer sticks during your ten-minute, punch-clock break in an alleyway.

    Make the most of it. Congratulations. You are luckier than many people who don't have a tobacco shop around nearby that they can enjoy.

    Cheers and best wishes,
    WK
     
  10. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    What is the name of the place and/or city?
    I live in Michigan too.
    (I know, it's a big state)
    ;)
     
  11. Rugbysh9

    Rugbysh9 Active Member

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    Kreinhard & Mington, I'm going to be in Grand Rapids for the week of Christmas with my wife's parents. I know I'm going to need a chance to excape at least one or two times. If either of you are in the vicinity let me know and we can try to meet for a smoke.

    - Rugs
     
  12. kreinhard

    kreinhard Member

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    Chatham Cigar. It really is slanted heavily toward cigar smokers, but the owner did say he wanted to pick up "one or two good pipe smokers." Having an entrepreneurial background myself, I can appreciate his motivations for wanting to attract small numbers of high quality clients, as opposed to pulling in anyone who wants anything to do with tobacco of any sort.

    Ah, GR is about 3 hours from me, on the other side of the state. As it is, we have plans from just before Christmas all the way through the New Year, culminating in a wedding on New Year's Eve.
     
  13. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    Rugs,
    Thanks for the invite, but I too live close to 3 hours away.
    It would be fun.
    Hopefully one day! ;)
    M
     
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