Is BC Pipes Still In Business?

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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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About a year ago, maybe less, word went out that the venerable French pipe maker BC was going out of business. Several on Forums were sorry to hear it, and that's that last I heard. Except there's no evidence in recent days that they have. Online retailers still offer pages of their pipes, and these seem to be expanded and refreshed from time to time. Did BC's fortunes change? Was the report wrong in the first place?

A second question might be, is the Dr. Grabow factory in Sparta, N.C., back in full operation after the earthquake this summer? Some of the gear was reported damaged, but I hadn't heard more since.
 

Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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I’m not sure about BC, but the earthquake thing completely slipped past me. If I heard about it, it didn’t register. That’s too bad. I hope the folks at Dr Grabow are up and running again.
 
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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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I'm in North Carolina, but I haven't heard or read anything about the Dr. Grabow factory and the earthquake, and they don't have anything on their web site, so I am supposing that they are patching things up and proceeding. What I had originally heard is that some of the machinery had been damaged, but nothing about the building, which I think is one-story, and there was no damage to structures when the earthquake was originally reported.
 

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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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'bob, I wondered about that, just a back inventory that was warehoused but in the pipeline. I guess we'll hear more when they do a new pipe-of-the-year or the number of BC pipes on offer decrease in number.
 

anotherbob

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'bob, I wondered about that, just a back inventory that was warehoused but in the pipeline. I guess we'll hear more when they do a new pipe-of-the-year or the number of BC pipes on offer decrease in number.
it's hard to imagine how many pipes some of these companies make. And what percent actually get smoked regularly and how many sit on a shelf.
 
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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Some of these pipe factories just slip out of view with no notice. I surmise that Edwards, who also made Benton and one or two other brands, just closed without notice. They were making some good Algerian briar house pipes for Iwan Ries, products that are still good and desirable today. When they stopped production, I couldn't say. They may have had the notion that they'd start up again if the market revived. I think they still operate stores, but just do no pipe making as near as I can tell. I think Dr. Grabow and Kaywoodie may be the last volume U.S. briar pipe factories standing, and of course MM makes the major volume cob pipes.
 
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madox07

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Dec 12, 2016
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MSO, I don't think the BC Factory is in any batter shape,it's just that they had a lot of product on the market. I don't know about other EU countries but in Romania they are not very sought after. Some models are in my local b&m shelves for years. In fact in Germany I never saw a pipe of theirs on any store shelf, either. I guess they are looked upon like an angelo type brand.
 
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SoddenJack

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Apr 19, 2020
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I just emailed SP to get an answer...

Thank you for getting a hold of us. Unfortunately the information you heard about Butz-Choquin no longer producing pipes is correct. They closed down earlier this year and the pipe which we have been updating are from "New-Old" stock.

This really sucks. Guess I might be adding one of those BC’s I’ve had my eye on to my next order.
 
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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Well, that is clarifying. I guess we'll watch the BC brand slowly melt away as the existing inventory diminishes. I have two BC's, both really pleasing designs and fine smoking pipes. It is intriguing to me that enough of the stock was left to maintain the appearance of being in business more than a year after they closed, and perhaps this is a signal about what went wrong financially. Supply exceeded demand big time.
 

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