With Pipe and Pen  Blog » Manufacturer & Retailer Spotlight

Luciano Pipes - A Brief History and Review

    February 13th, 2011

 

By Bob Tate

luciano-pipesLuciano (pronounced: Lu-chee-ah-no) pipes are made in Italy and are the creation of Luca Di Piazza, owner of NeatPipes. Luca wanted to create a high quality line of pipes that would be affordable to all pipe smokers. In the beginning months of 2007, he set to work making the first pipes that would carry the Luciano name. He wanted to make sure that every pipe in the Luciano line had all of the correct engineering that makes a pipe a good smoker, but he wanted to be able to produce them in a way that keeps the cost of the pipes low and affordable. The way that he achieved this was by having each pipe Hand Finished instead of Hand Made.
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Rich Gottlieb of 4noggins.com Interview

    December 1st, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

Rich Gottlieb, 4noggins.com Owner

Rich Gottlieb, 4noggins.com Owner

4noggins.com was started in 2005 by Richard Gottlieb. In the five short years that he has been in business, Rich has grown 4noggins.com into one of the more trusted and successful online pipe tobacco vendors that there is. He and his wife are the only employees of the company and they offer great customer service to all of their customers.

They have a great selection of pipe tobacco and have recently started selling a larger variety of pipes. Along with his retail sales, Rich also offers consignment sales to and for his customers. I had the opportunity to interview Rich and ask him a few questions.
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Artisan Pipe Maker Joe Nelson Interview

    October 24th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

Joe Nelson of Old Nellie Pipes and Nelson Guitars

Joe Nelson of Old Nellie Pipes and Nelson Guitars

Joe Nelson is the owner of Old Nellie Pipes and Nelson Guitars. He is an artisan pipe maker as well as a luthier and resides in Fond Du Lac County, WI. For those of you who might not know, a luthier is a stringed instrument builder/repairman. He has been making guitars for 14 years and pipes for 5 years.

While we were at the 2010 Richmond Pipe Show, we had the opportunity to talk with Joe and he took the time out of his busy day to have an interview us. Joe has just recently started using a new method in his pipe making. He is now oil curing his pipes. He explained the advantage of oil curing during our interview.
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Artisan Pipe Maker Bob Hayes Interview

    October 8th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

Artisan Pipe Maker Bob Hayes

Artisan Pipe Maker Bob Hayes

 

The 2010 Richmond Pipe Show, as always, had quite a few artisan pipe makers in attendance and one of them was Bob Hayes. Bob Hayes attends most of the pipes shows and he is also the son-in-law of Craig and Patty Tarler of Cornell & Diehl. His table is normally set up right next to the Cornell & Diehl tables, so when you are at a show, just look for the Cornell & Diehl tables and you will find Bob Hayes and his pipes. Bob has received the Triangle Area Pipe Smokers (TAPS) Professional Pipe Carver of the Year Award at the Raleigh Pipe Show for three consecutive years; 2008, 2009, and 2010.
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The Smoke Shop - Annapolis, Maryland

    July 7th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

Peter Keller, Owner of The Smoke Shop

Peter Keller, Owner of The Smoke Shop

When I first stepped into The Smoke Shop, it was like stepping into a time machine and going into the past. They are a true tobacconist shop with a lot of history. The Smoke Shop first opened for business in 1948 and during all of this time; they have kept the nostalgic feel in their shop. Once I walked into the shop, it felt like the world slowed down and I forgot about the hustle and bustle of the people outside running around doing their tasks. When I left the shop, it felt kind of strange stepping back into a fast paced world where everything is hurry, hurry, hurry.

When I say that they are a “true tobacconist shop”, I mean that they have, and cater to, every type of tobacco and tobacco user. They also carry a full line of pipe smoking accessories. Most of us have been in shops that focus on mainly cigars with pipes and pipe tobacco as an afterthought. The Smoke Shop does not focus on one particular type of tobacco and tobacco user. They are equally focused on everyone who enjoys tobacco products, no matter which type it is that an individual prefers.

Nothing is an afterthought to them an they are a full service shop. They will take the time to walk the customer through all of the steps to get the most enjoyment out of the experience. The staff is friendly and they are knowledgeable in everything that they sell and know their products very well. That is becoming a rare thing in this day and age. A lot of other shops seem to focus on selling their products and not necessarily helping out the consumer, especially those that are new to the enjoyment of premium tobacco products.
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Artisan Pipe Maker Bob Gilbert Interview

    May 10th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

2010-chicago-pipe-show-138During our time at the 2010 Chicago Pipe Show, one of the people that we had the chance to meet up with was Artisan Pipe Maker Bob Gilbert (Staffwalker). Bob is a very nice and accommodating guy and he also does some outstanding work. Bob Gilbert is from Denton, Texas and has been making pipes for almost four years. His pipes are very attractive and he puts a lot of effort into his work. Not only are his pipes attractive, but they are made with precision engineering. Kevin and I both acquired a pipe from Bob and they smoke great.

The stems are made from Ebonite and they meet up flawlessly with the shank of the pipe. The draft hole is dead center on the bottom of the bowl and a pipe cleaner runs all the way through with out any problems. He leaves a 1/32” space between the tenon and the mortise and he also drills them wide enough to accept fluffy pipe cleaners. His pipes are also very affordable. I have seen pipes that look as good as his pipes sell for double and sometimes triple what he prices his pipes at. Bob Gilbert does not currently have a website, but you can still get in touch with him.
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Interview with Greg Pease of G.L. Pease Tobacco - Part 2

    April 16th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

greg-pease-pic-01In Part 1 of our interview, Greg talked a little bit about how he got started blending tobacco, how he goes about developing new blends, a new blend that will be released soon, and many other things.

Here is Part 2 and the conclusion of our interview with Greg Pease.

 

PM: What are some of the changes that you have seen in the pipe and pipe tobacco industry over the years?

GLP: I’ve been smoking a pipe for about 30 years, now. Some blends and blending houses have changed dramatically. Companies have merged, or outsourced their brands to others, sometimes with less than optimal results. There’s been a drastic decline in pipe tobacco consumption over the years, and it just hasn’t been cost effective for a lot of the old blenders to keep their doors open. And, far too many retail tobacconists have shuttered. The days of walking into a great brick and mortar shop in any major city, talking pipes and tobaccos with knowledgeable staff seem to be behind us. There are still some fantastic shops, but they are fewer and farther between.
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Interview with Greg Pease of G.L. Pease Tobacco - Part 1

    April 15th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

greg-pease-pic-01
Greg Pease is the owner of G.L. Pease, Intl. Greg began blending pipe tobacco over 30 years ago and in 1998 left his regular job of 18 years to pursue tobacco blending full time. In early 2000, G.L. Pease Tobacco was born. G.L. Pease tobaccos have become one of the better known premier pipe tobacco blends today. Greg makes it a habit of using only the best quality tobaccos that are available at any given time in his blends. G.L. Pease tobacco blends are made by hand and in small batches to maintain the integrity of his blends.

He also runs his own website [glpease.com] which is loaded with useful information about pipe tobacco and the G.L. Pease tobacco blends, all of which is written by Greg himself. You can see all of the G.L. Pease tobacco blends with their descriptions at glpease.com and cornellanddiehl.com.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Greg some questions. Here is our interview with Greg Pease of G.L. Pease Tobacco:

 

PM: When you first started blending pipe tobacco blends, was it more of a hobby or did you have plans to make it into a business?
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Interview with Tim Ozgener, President of CAO International

    February 18th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

tim-ozgener

We’ve been intrigued with rumors circulating around the pipe community that CAO might become the new distributor of Dunhill pipe tobaccos in the USA. There have been comments that CAO would increase its presence in the pipe tobacco business in 2010, rumors of new tobaccos, possibly bringing back the old CAO tobaccos, CAO meerschaum pipes and possible Dunhill distribution.

We had a great conversation with Tim Ozenger, President of CAO International (he’s a very friendly and accommodating chap). We talked about the aforementioned rumors and a few other things. Find out which rumors are true and which are not. So without further ado, here is our conversation with Tim:

PipesMagazine (PM): Tim, at the beginning of 2009, there were a lot of rumors that CAO was getting out of the tobacco pipe industry. Is it true that CAO made the decision to no longer be involved in the pipe industry or was it more related to Scandinavian Tobacco Group merging with CAO and there being a switch from Dan Tobacco to Scandinavian Tobacco Group?

Tim Ozgener: Well, Scandinavian Tobacco Group acquired CAO and in the acquisition they stated that they were in the cigar business and were not interested in pipes, although they are the largest producer of pipe tobacco in the world. So pipe smoking is still of interest to them, but they wanted us to focus more on cigars and pipe tobacco in the future instead of pipes. My father retired from the business, but still has some pretty tight relationships with some of the more important carvers in Turkey and he continues to purchase pipes from these carvers in Turkey. It was just made clear that that was not a part of CAO and more of, a kind of, personal decision. So my father has continued to receive pipes from these carvers. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Master Blender Russ Ouellette - Part 3

    February 14th, 2010

 

By Bob Tate

russ-ouellette-01

This is the conclusion to our Russ Ouellette (Blendtobac) interview. So far in our interview with Russ Ouellette, we have talked about how he got started blending pipe tobacco blends, Perique tobacco, some of the challenges that he faces obtaining certain tobacco components, how he created Larry’s Blend, and many other things. Here, we are picking up the interview where we left off in Part 2:

PipesMagazine (PM): We have heard from quite a few people in the industry and have seen for ourselves that a lot of younger people are starting to get into pipes. Have you noticed this as well and have you seen a resurgence in pipes and pipe smoking?

Russ: Yeah, we’ve had a number of guys under 30 [years of age] who have stopped in to visit or join our pipe club and we’re seeing more and more of it. Some of it is kind of a trendy thing; a group of local college students, or whatever, will decide that they want to get together and smoke pipes. And because, I think, we do a very good job at our retail store of helping the new pipe smoker get started and give them the information that they need to stay with it, they tend to gravitate towards our store and they start hanging out on a regular basis because we have a lounge.

They like to get together and they’ll sit there around the card table and smoke their pipes. Our customers are such a great bunch of people that the older lawyers, doctors, and business people don’t look down their nose at these 24 year old kids sitting there smoking pipes. It’s a very comfortable environment and we’re doing what we can for the people who’ve made the decision that they want to smoke a pipe and we’re going to make it as enjoyable as possible for them.  Read the rest of this entry »