Today’s article kicks off a new series I’ll be doing on the local cigar shops in my area. First up is Smokers Den and an interview with owner, Morgan Jones.
Smokers Den Cigar Lounge has been around for several years and was recently purchased by Morgan in February 2012. The shop is located on Rt. 19 in Clearwater, FL, just south of Curlew Rd.
Morgan has brought in about 50 to 60 brands and has over 20 thousand cigars in inventory. Various updates to furnishings and decor have made the “Den” a welcoming and inviting place to relax and smoke a cigar.
I recently spent some time with Morgan and asked him a few questions:
How long have you been in the tobacco business ?
I started out with RJ Reynolds and worked there for 18 years, first in the food segment and then in the tobacco segment. I’ve also worked at Camacho Cigars for 3 years and Mederos Cigars for about a year. My career in the Tobacco Industry spans close to 30 years.
What made you get into the retail cigar biz ?
My long term plan was always to own my own shop. An opportunity came up to purchase Smokers Den and work for myself.
What’s your favorite thing about owning a retail cigar shop ?
To be honest, at the end of the day, it’s the satisfaction that it’s my own business.
What other lines are you looking to bring into the shop ?
I want to bring in Padron. I feel it is a “must have”.
How do you decide what cigar brands come into your shop ?
I like to beta test with my customers. I have an educated clientele and I like to follow their lead. I also consider customer requests.
What trends in purchases have you noticed ?
The larger ring gauge cigars are a big seller along with the toro size. I’ve noticed that figurados are slower movers.
What is your best selling brand in the store ?
The entire San Lotano line, followed closely by Oliva. My house blend is also popular.
What has been your most favorite event to date ?
My favorite event has been last year’s baseball event with Luis Tiant and El Tiante cigars. There were over 150 people in attendance and Luis Tiant stayed until midnight signing memorabilia.
How do you promote your shop ?
We use the social media networks and word of mouth.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about your shop ?
We welcome all into our lounge and we are drama free. Our regulars are a great group of customers. We pride ourselves in getting to know you by face, name and your cigar of choice. No cliques!
Smokers Den Cigars - 29140 U.S. 19, Clearwater, FL (727) 784-1676
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