Carrying on the Tradition
McGaughs Flagstaff opened on S. San Francisco St. in the Historic Southside of Flagstaff in late 2008 as McGaughs Smoke Shop. The McGaughs name was chosen to pay homage to the sorely missed McGaughs Newsstand that was a fixture on N. San Francisco St. in downtown Flagstaff for over 50 years.
Today's McGaughs offers the best selection Craft Beer, Quality Wines, Fine Cigars, rolling tobaccos and all natural cigarettes in all of Northern Arizona. Besides the great selection and ultra-competitive prices, the products are carefully stored and maintained in climate control storage room and showcases.
McGaughs Flagstaff is proud to carry on the tradition of McGaughs Newsstand in offering a warm and welcoming setting in historic Flagstaff Arizona. From the antique cans, bottles and prints throughout the store, to the authentic bullet holes in the tin ceiling, McGaughs Flagstaff delivers a charming shopping experience in keeping with Flagstaff's rich Southwestern history.
A cigar shop with a pedigree (expand/hide story)
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Reprinted from Arizona Daily Sun
James Holeman has reopened McGaugh’s Smoke Shop at a new location.
By JOE FERGUSON
Sun Staff Reporter
Monday, December 29, 2008
James Holeman knows his way around cigars.
For the past 12 years, he has operated a successful cigar shop in Hawaii selling the best hand-rolled stogies from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. Recently, Holeman moved to Flagstaff to open a new cigar shop with a familiar name: McGaugh’s Smoke Shop. The choice to call his new business on the corner of Butler and San Francisco McGaugh’s was in homage to McGaugh’s Newsstand, once a popular downtown fixture for both tobacco products and magazines, he said.
“It was a landmark,” Holeman said.
The Colorado company that owned the business for several decades closed it on Sept. 1, 2001, reportedly after losing a major supplier. The store was started by Levi McGaugh in the 1950s, but was sold to the Colorado company.
Holeman said he went directly to the McGaugh family for permission.
“I contacted the family, not the corporation. Not that I had to, I could call it whatever I want. But I wanted to do the right thing,” Holeman said. “I contacted the family and they thought it was a great idea. They liked my approach and my style.”
Up to $30 apiece
He said the three McGaugh kids went so far as to bring him a framed picture of their father, Levi.
In a corner of the tiny shop on Butler Road and San Francisco Street, Levi McGaugh stares down on Holeman and his only full-time employee as he sells cigars priced from a few dollars to up to $30 apiece.
After selling his shop in Hawaii, Holeman spent more the $420,000 on buying the small house in Southside and renovating it into his new business.
From a new parking lot to a custom-made cedar thermador, Holeman said it was an investment in the product he loves.
“There is an old saying that goes, ‘Turn your hobby into your career and you’ll never work again,’” Holeman said.
He also said the owning the business also allows him to keep prices low.
“It allows me to have very competitive prices because I have no mortgage or rent,” he said.
A special occasion
He said it has become less socially acceptable to smoke in public, but he said he views a good cigar as a treat to enjoy on special occasions.
“My customers run the gamut from rich to poor and somewhere in between. But what is common between them is they are not a typical mass-market consumer,” he said. “They are using them as a way to relax. They are an affordable, luxury product.”
He said he has even gone so far as to discourage some customers.
”I’ve seen some of my customers get carried away sometimes and I’ve politely intervened to get them to cut back,” Holeman said.
And Holeman, who concedes he enjoys the occasional stogie, sells more than just cigars. He sells pipes, tobacco, rolling paper and some all-natural packs of cigarettes.
He said the kits are selling well in the current economy.
He said people can get a better quality tobacco by rolling their own cigarettes while spending less than $1.50 a pack to make them.
Most commercially available cigarettes cost between $4 and $6 a pack.
Joe Ferguson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 556-2253.
Picture It: Then and Now(expand/hide)
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