A love affair with a ‘man cave’ appeal
Easton’s Cigar & Smoke Shop celebrates 20 years
EASTON — Twenty years ago, Bob Suder decided he’d had enough of practicing law in Baltimore, packed up and, with his wife Shirley and family, moved to the Eastern Shore.
He decided he’d do something fun for a change. He loved cigars, and there was no place to get a good one for miles around.
So he bought a small brick building at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Washington Street, and the Easton Cigar & Smoke Shop was born.
Suder’s family and friends, members of the community, loyal customers and local dignitaries, along with the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, cut a ribbon Friday, Oct. 5, to celebrate the shop’s 20 years.
Suder said his love affair with cigars began when he was given a box to celebrate the birth of his son in 1973. Before that, he had smoked a pipe to help him through the long hours of studying to get through law school.
But to be a success in the cigarselling business, Suder said he had a lot of reading and research to do.
One of the trickiest aspects was the creation of the humidor to store his stock.
His son, Brian Suder, was a college student, and they went into business together, building a humidor of Spanish cedar that has kept him in business for two decades.
Suder said Brian eventually settled in California, and it is his stepson Jason Hubbard who recently became the new owner of the business.
Hubbard has been working in the shop for 14 years. He said he started working in the store when he was in his 20s and never imagined how far it would take him.
“It’s been an amazing time,” he said. “I’ve met some really great people and really amazing people, and I hope we can be here another 20 years doing this.”
“The one thing about the business is you meet all walks of life,” Hubbard said. “Blue collar, white collar, politicians, musicians.”
He said it was an exciting time when blues musician and fivetime Grammy winner Robert Cray showed up at the shop to buy cigars.
The jovial, relaxed atmosphere at the shop rapidly makes friends out of strangers, he said.
Hubbard said at a recent barbecue event some of the customers were musicians, some were not, but they joined together and gave an impromptu concert.
“That just shows what type of people come in,” he said. “Sometimes they could be the CEO of some big company or just a store clerk in town, but everybody just kind of comes together. It’s kind of a common ground.”
These days, the Easton Cigar & Smoke Shop is a full smoke shop, not just carrying cigars.
Cigars, pipes, tobacco for pipes, some rolling tobaccos are its stock items, Hubbard said, but mostly cigars and accessories. Its cigarette sales are very limited, he said, with brand names like Nat Sherman or Dunhill.
Hubbard said its best-selling line is the Padron family cigars.
“They were actually originally from Cuba and moved over in ‘64 to Nicaragua, and they’ve been producing cigars from that region ever since,” he said.
Hubbard said most of the shop’s cigars come from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
“Arturo Fuente, Padron, Perdomo — and the list goes on and on,” he said. Hubbard said those companies produce literally thousands of cigar types.
“We’re ver y lucky,” Suder said. “A lot of the stores up in Baltimore and Washington, the cigars that they get are hard to get from the dealers. They are usually spoken for long before they come in.”
“We don’t do that, so people come from all over, and they see cigars that they can’t get elsewhere, so they’re excited,” Suder said.
During the ribbon cutting on Oct.
5, Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-MidShore, and Del. Johnny Mautz,
R-37B-Talbot, presented a citation from the entire Eastern Shore delegation of the Mar yland General Assembly honoring the shop’s 20 years of business.
Eckardt and Mautz told them how fantastic it was that they’ve been in business for two decades.
“It’s hard to find a good cigar,” Mautz said. “This is a gem for us to have here.”
There’s a cozy outdoor patio area with tables under umbrellas where customers are welcome to sit, enjoy cigars or a pipe and watch whatever’s going on Washington Street and Glenwood Avenue.
Inside a large lounge with two giant-screen televisions and sumptuous leather furniture has a definite “man cave” feel. In the corner, of course, a cigar-store Indian has a place of honor.
The Easton Cigar & Smoke Shop is open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to
6 p.m. Saturday. It is at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Washington Street. Like the store and check its their events on Facebook.
Bob Suder is all smiles inside the special humidor made of Spanish cedar he built with his son Brian Suder 20 years ago at the Easton Cigar & Smoke Shop.
A cigar store Indian, right, has a place of honor in the Easton Cigar & Smoke Shop lounge.
A large lounge with two giant-screen televisions and sumptuous leather furniture has a definite “man cave” feel at the Easton Cigar & Smoke Shop.
From left, Bob and Shirley Suder and their son Jason Hubbard are congratulated on the success of the Easton Cigar & Smoke Shop for the past 20 years. Bob Suder started the business and Jason Hubbard has just become the new business owner.