By Mario Toneguzzi
A Calgary retailer is opening its third cigar shop in the city with plans to continue to grow its footprint.
“The main thing we do is premium tobacco products – cigars, pipe. We carry every tobacco product basically, including smokeless tobacco,” says Mike Kinch, president of Tobacco Outlet Cigar Boutique.
And people looking for quality cigars can find it there.
“I don’t think indulgences will ever go away. People still need to enjoy themselves. It’s better to do it in moderation and if they’re going to do it, do it right. And I think that’s where the trend is going.”
The company’s first store opened in 2011 in the Bridgeland inner-city community just outside of the downtown core. A second store opened a couple of years later in the Silverado neighbourhood in the deep part of southwest Calgary.
“There’s a lot of competition in Calgary, and its not easy for everyone, but we’re doing well,” says Kinch, of the tobacco business. “The trend for cigar smoking is still there. There’s still a lot of people who enjoy it.
“What’s going on in the industry is people in general are gravitating to more quality versus quantity.”
Kinch says the company offers cigars, tobacco, smokes, tobacco pipes, hookahs, humidors and lighters.
“Cigars for any occasion, wedding party, golf trip, fishing tour, camping or staying at home . . . We opened with the goal of serving our customers with superior value and pricing in a modern store, with knowledgeable staff,” he says.
Kinch says the company has plans for another store in Calgary and then it may look outside the city for other locations.
Cigars are from Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Tobacco products include all major cigarettes, pipe tobaccos shisha and Swedish Snus which is a spit-free, smokeless tobacco product.
There are also smokes and loose tobacco for sale, and the company also focuses on IQOS which is a smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes.
“We are the first in Canada and only independent ‘shop-in-shop’ for IQOS” said Kinch. “We are working closely with Rothmans, Benson & Hedges to promote this fantastic technology which allows users to use tobacco without combustion, avoiding many issues with smoke from traditional cigarettes. Our West Market store features a large area dedicated to IQOS,” he said.
The store also sells organic, natural and herbal cigarettes.
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