Industry Spotlight

Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco Tampa FL

If I were a selfish man, I would never write this article as I would like to keep Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco my own little secret … just for me. You see they have so many beautiful one-of-a-kind pipes and I want to buy them all for myself. However, the secret was out a long time ago. The flagship location of Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco in Tampa is not a huge store, but they have been in business for 50 years and they really know pipes and tobacco. I am writing this as I am smoking my new Smitty hand-made Algerian briar bent with Acrylic mouthpiece. It smokes as beautiful as it looks.

This is my first pipe with a translucent Acrylic stem. It looks neat when the pipe cleaner goes through. Smitty is the President and co-founder of Edward’s. This is one of his hand-made pipes from Algerian briar.

 

This was my second visit to Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco in Tampa. I first visited during the Ybor City Cigar Heritage festival in November 2008. Now that we’ve launched Pipes Magazine, I decided they would make a great first feature for the Pipe Manufacturer & Retailer Spotlight. One of the things I’ve learned in my experience working on the media side of the cigar business for the last four years is that everyone is extremely friendly and accommodating. This was certainly true of Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco.

I made my second visit to the store on Thursday, April 23, 2009. This was an impromptu visit. I had other business in Tampa that day and at the last minute got the idea to "kill two birds with one stone" and pop into Edward’s for an interview. I found out that "the boss" was at a different location, the wholesale and manufacturing division, FGT Enterprises, so I would have to go there for the interview.

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With no advance notice whatsoever, Gordon Smith, "Smitty’s" son, and Vice President of FGT & Edwards granted me an interview. He spent all the time we needed to talk and gave me quite an interesting tour of the pipe finishing equipment and warehouse. But first, the store.

I spent time shopping (drooling over many pipes) and buying the Smitty Pipe shown above along with a couple of store blends and other assorted pipe accessories.

Bret Hart, the Assistant Manager was quite knowledgeable and friendly. He served coffee and espresso to patrons and was able to answer several questions about cigars and pipes that came up while I was there. Smoking is allowed in the store and several people were enjoying the privilege.


Bret Hart – Assistant Manager of  Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco in Tampa

After I chose my new pipe, Bret prepared it by running brandy through the stem and bowl, and then polished it on a buffing wheel. I’ve purchased several pipes before, and this was the first time I was offered this service of preparing my new pipe.

Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco Storefront

 

As soon as you step into the store you will be delighted with all kinds of treats for the premium pipe smoker.


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There are several varieties of pipe tobacco including many of Edwards own blends as well as national brands and well over 100 pipes to choose from.
There are all types of pipes with a good range of prices. I chose my new pipe from amongst these hand-made Algerian briar pipes.
(Click Images for Larger View – Opens in New Window)

Fifty years of blending experience goes into each one of the over 25 different tobacco blends

Don’t these pipes just look delicious?
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If you are in the Tampa Bay area, be sure to visit Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco and say hello to Bret. They open early at 8:00 am and many people stop by for their free morning coffee. Find them on the web at: http://www.edwardstampa.com

There are also 19 Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco franchises around the country, including Fort Collins & Englewood, CO; Los Altos, CA; Atlanta, GA; San Francisco Bay area and more, so check your local listings for the Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco franchise near you. Feel free to post in the comment box if you have been to Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco.

Watch for Part II where we tour the factory and talk to Gordon Smith, Vice President of FGT Enterprises and Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco.

[mappress]

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    eddiegrob
  • April 25, 2009
Kevin - what a beautiful pipe! And what a beautiful, well-stocked establishment! I live in Miami, but since I travel to different places in Florida to take photographs (my second hobby) I will try to make it to Tampa soon and visit Edwards. Thanks for the invaluable info!
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    Kevin
  • April 25, 2009
Let me know when you are coming and I will meet you there.
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    eddiegrob
  • April 25, 2009
Deal. BTW, don't smoke that pipe! It's a work of art, with the translucent amber bit... Keep it pristine, so you can continue to say "translucent amber," whenever you are in a Shakespearean mood.
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    Kevin
  • April 26, 2009
LMAO! Too late. I already smoked it. I guess I have to keep smoking it now.
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    pipetrucker
  • October 22, 2010
Great review. I am over in Plant City and getting ready to head over there now. Tomorrow is my birthday so I thought I would treat myself to a new pipe.
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    misterben
  • March 27, 2011
Mr. Kevin,
Thanks for the more than complete post. I've heard a bit of chitter chat in regards to Edwards just wasn't sure if it was worth going out of my way when I get to Tampa.
Looks like its worth taking a lil extra time to scope out. Brevrd County has one mildly decent pipe and cigar shop. Its more like a closet in the merrit island mall than anything. Pipe prices are 3 times than on the net and they might cary 3-4 savinelli's and about the same in stanwell and thats it. They're pretty much buried under cigar assessories so you pretty much have to ask for them. They only sell ashton pipe toby and their own blends which I won't touch either after snorting a all of them. Thanks 40 miles from my home and its just not worth it.
Can you recall if Edwards offered a decent variety of brand name pipes/toby ? I just can't find much info on their website.
I suppose next time I'm at the V.A. Hospital in Tampa for my Cochlear implant check up I'll have to pay them a visit too. Doesn't seem that far from the V.A.
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