Cargo Hold in Washington State

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Zamora

Can't Leave
Mar 15, 2023
396
1,075
Olympia, Washington
Yesterday I went to the Cargo Hold in Poulsbo, Washington and bought five tins and a house blend sampler. My local B&M only has bulks (they focus on cigars) and online pipe tobacco sales are illegal in Washington, so getting to purchase tins was a huge deal for me. I'd been to the Cargo Hold a few times before to check out their other merchandise; they also sell books, decor, chess sets, cribbage boards, and all manner of other stuff, most of it nautically themed. Yesterday was the first time I'd been there since I've taken up pipe smoking. The owner is an absolute gentleman and has an encyclopedic knowledge of pipes and tobacco. We chatted for a little bit but it was cut short because there were other customers waiting so he gave me his card. Right now Poulsbo in the middle of their Viking Fest and yesterday was their Norway Day parade so it was pretty busy.

The selection consists of most of the classic blends and a lot of recent stuff from SPC, C&D, and GLP. Do beware that pipe tobacco taxes are astronomical in Washington, but Cargo Hold has discount for paying in cash and he'll gladly knock off the price for large purchases. I didn't look too closely at the pipe selection because of how busy things were and I have enough pipes for now, but i did see a pretty impressive selection of Petersons and Peterson accessories. There's also a decent selection of cigars, right now there's LFD Andalusian Bulls available for sale.

Overall my experience at Cargo Hold was wonderful and I look forward to future visits. I seldom visit Poulsbo because of distance but now I might find more excuses to go. If you're in Western Washington I highly recommend visiting Cargo Hold and Poulsbo in general, it's a really cool town with lots of great shops, restaurants and bars. From Seattle it's about an hour away by ferry, the ferry trips to and from Seattle are a wonderful experience as well.

NWPipeSmoker, one of my favorite YTPC channels, is a regular customer of Cargo Hold and has a few videos there
 

Zamora

Can't Leave
Mar 15, 2023
396
1,075
Olympia, Washington
I've been planning a trip there and hope to make it soon. It's a shame that there are so few B&M pipe stores in Washington these days.
Yeah, my understanding was there used to be more or at least more places that offered pipe tobacco but the asinine taxes made it unprofitable for most. The owner mentioned that he has customers drive from all over the western part of the state to shop there. I'm lucky that my local cigar B&M does at least have some good bulks.
 
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lraisch

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 4, 2011
648
1,272
Granite Falls, Washington state
Once upon a time, I used to frequent Tinder Box stores in Southcenter and the Alderwood mall as well as three Pipelane locations. Even the downtown Frederick & Nelson store had a small, but well stocked tobacconist. Now there's only the Tinderbox in Tacoma and some smoke shops.

The Seattle Pipe club also has some of the club blends available at Smoky Joes where the meetings are held.
 

Zamora

Can't Leave
Mar 15, 2023
396
1,075
Olympia, Washington
Once upon a time, I used to frequent Tinder Box stores in Southcenter and the Alderwood mall as well as three Pipelane locations. Even the downtown Frederick & Nelson store had a small, but well stocked tobacconist. Now there's only the Tinderbox in Tacoma and some smoke shops.

The Seattle Pipe club also has some of the club blends available at Smoky Joes where the meetings are held.
Yeah most of the remaining tobacconists have shifted entirely to cigars. There just aren't enough pipe smokers in most areas for it to be profitable anymore, so I don't blame them for not wanting to dedicate shelf space to it especially when it requires a completely different field of knowledge than cigars. I've never heard of Pipelane, I knew Tinder Box used to be a huge chain and that Tacoma's is one of the few remaining but I had no idea there were several other local ones.

I didn't know SPC had meeting exclusive blends. Sadly I live to far to make it to meetings, also too far for the Kitsap Pipe Club meetings. Plum Pudding was one of the tins I bought at Cargo Hold.
 
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DeaconPiper

Might Stick Around
Jun 13, 2023
61
266
Pacific Northwest
Just visited the Cargo Hold a few days ago. Fantastic place. I could stay all day inside that shop, if I wasn't married. Purchased a tin of Maltese Falcon. Never piped it until yesterday, and I'll tell you what, it was a highlight. Remarkable, tasty blend. Again, if you can make it to Cargo Hold, do so!
 
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Zamora

Can't Leave
Mar 15, 2023
396
1,075
Olympia, Washington
Just visited the Cargo Hold a few days ago. Fantastic place. I could stay all day inside that shop, if I wasn't married. Purchased a tin of Maltese Falcon. Never piped it until yesterday, and I'll tell you what, it was a highlight. Remarkable, tasty blend. Again, if you can make it to Cargo Hold, do so!
I absolutely will, I might not be able to until next year's Viking Fest but that's fine since the amount I bought will probably be enough for me until then.
 
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lraisch

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 4, 2011
648
1,272
Granite Falls, Washington state
Finally got the chance to visit Poulsbo with my wife and daughter-in-law.

The Cargo Hold was the highlight of the shopping for me. Doug is a knowledgeable and friendly guy who has been smoking a pipe almost as long as I have. He gave me a good deal on some uncommon, tinned tobaccos and almost convinced me to buy an estate pipe there. Maybe next time!

The amusing part of the visit for me was remembering some 50 years ago my wife and I would daydream about how someday I would open a tobacconist store and she would have a shop selling kitchen things. We imagined waving to each other from behind our respective cash registers.

The shop across the hall from the Cargo Hold is a kitchen store run by Doug's wife!

Good to know that someone achieved that little dream.
 

DeaconPiper

Might Stick Around
Jun 13, 2023
61
266
Pacific Northwest
Finally got the chance to visit Poulsbo with my wife and daughter-in-law.

The Cargo Hold was the highlight of the shopping for me. Doug is a knowledgeable and friendly guy who has been smoking a pipe almost as long as I have. He gave me a good deal on some uncommon, tinned tobaccos and almost convinced me to buy an estate pipe there. Maybe next time!

The amusing part of the visit for me was remembering some 50 years ago my wife and I would daydream about how someday I would open a tobacconist store and she would have a shop selling kitchen things. We imagined waving to each other from behind our respective cash registers.

The shop across the hall from the Cargo Hold is a kitchen store run by Doug's wife!

Good to know that someone achieved that little dream.
I'm looking forward to heading back up that way again - - living in Central Washington myself, in a veritable desert devoid of pipes and pipe tobacco. Most 'tobacco' stores are vape shops and pot shops with kids who have not idea, or care, about pipe tobacco, let alone customer service.
 
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kcghost

Lifer
May 6, 2011
13,794
22,610
77
Olathe, Kansas
It is a shame that I never heard about this place when I was travelling up to Seattle. I would love to drop in there. I also enjoy the nwpipesmoker has a great channel on YouTube!!
 
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Zamora

Can't Leave
Mar 15, 2023
396
1,075
Olympia, Washington
great visit report, support your local B&M!
Thanks! Not so local though, it's an hour away lol
Finally got the chance to visit Poulsbo with my wife and daughter-in-law.

The Cargo Hold was the highlight of the shopping for me. Doug is a knowledgeable and friendly guy who has been smoking a pipe almost as long as I have. He gave me a good deal on some uncommon, tinned tobaccos and almost convinced me to buy an estate pipe there. Maybe next time!

The amusing part of the visit for me was remembering some 50 years ago my wife and I would daydream about how someday I would open a tobacconist store and she would have a shop selling kitchen things. We imagined waving to each other from behind our respective cash registers.

The shop across the hall from the Cargo Hold is a kitchen store run by Doug's wife!

Good to know that someone achieved that little dream.
Poulsbo is such a wonderful town in general. I would've loved to stay and chat with him longer and I'm sure he did too, but going during the festival is so busy. What tobaccos did you get there? I bought Plum Pudding, Orlik Golden Sliced, and Presbyterian because they're must-try blends, and Rattray Marlin Flake because Doug suggested it for a second VaPer. Doug gave me a brief history of Rattray's, I'd never heard of Marlin Flake mostly knew them for their pipes learned they actually started out as a blender and got into making pipes later. I avoided any burley or Kentucky blends because I'm nicotine sensitive and I have plenty of SWR and H&H anyway. Straight VAs I also avoided because I've never had one so figured I'd stick with VaPers which I know I like, plus they're notorious for tongue bite so I figured I'd wait until I'm more experienced. I had no idea his wife ran that kitchen shop, that's so wholesome.
I'm looking forward to heading back up that way again - - living in Central Washington myself, in a veritable desert devoid of pipes and pipe tobacco. Most 'tobacco' stores are vape shops and pot shops with kids who have not idea, or care, about pipe tobacco, let alone customer service.
Yeah those places sometimes have codger blends but that's about it. In Lacey there's Cigar Daddies which does have about 20 or so bulk blends and only half are English, which is good because I was able to figure out I like Englishes and VaPers.
That sounds almost magical. Wish ida known about that place when I was living in WA, sounds like it wouldve been well worth the trip!
The whole town is. Absolutely worth the trip, he mentioned that he has customers who drive from all over the state to shop there. I'm adamantly opposed to bans on online tobacco sales but one silver lining is it does mean that the few pipe tobacconists left enjoy very loyal customers, unintended of course because the 95% tax far negates that.
It is a shame that I never heard about this place when I was travelling up to Seattle. I would love to drop in there. I also enjoy the nwpipesmoker has a great channel on YouTube!!
The way he smokes is so intriguing, I'm always impressed how he can have the stem firmly clenched in his teeth while speaking. I love how he always talks about the blend and pipe he's smoking but then usually talks about whatever he's been up to, even if he didn't smoke in his videos they'd be great.