NORTH PORT — When the owners of North Port Cigars decided to relocate, they didn’t move very far from their original location.
Just 405 feet, to be exact.
But the move around the corner in the The Shoppes at Price Crossing center confused many customers.
“We were located on the Toledo Blade side of the center and decided we wanted to add a cigar lounge to our retail shop,” store manager Shbaz Sharccg said. “In the process, we more than doubled our space, but somehow people lost track of us.”
The store moved in September 2017 — more than a year ago.
Yet today: “We still get customers who walk in and ask if we are the same store that was around the corner,” Sharccg said.
“Now, some may be returning snowbirds, but others...well, I can’t figure out why they have trouble finding us.”
He said the store’s typical customers are men 45-50 years old.
A few women venture in to purchase cigarettes at the retail side of the business, “but very few smoke cigars.”
The store features a large lounge with two flat screen televisions and a walk in humidor — where cigars are displayed in a climate controlled area.
“We have 500 brands in our humidor,” he said. “It’s the largest humidor between Naples and Tampa.”
There are some rules that the shop strictly enforces, Sharccg said.
“No one under 18 is allowed inside. Cigarette smoking and vaping are not allowed and only premium cigars purchased here are allowed to be smoked in the lounge.”
The store has three employees and works closely with military and veterans groups.
Sharccg plans to build ties to both North Port and Port Charlotte golf courses to stage special cigar events and golf outings.
“We are planning to do a lot,” he said. “Now, if more people would find us in our current location.”