Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

They're Not Just Blowing Smoke; New Spot Sells Cigars in the Mall

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

They're Not Just Blowing Smoke; New Spot Sells Cigars in the Mall

Article excerpt

Not to be left out of the recent phenomenal rise in the

popularity of cigar smoking, Orange Park now has its own shop

dedicated exclusively to the cigar.

The Cigar Box opened this fall in a kiosk at the Orange Park

Mall and has been met with a tremendous response, said manager

Becky Jolley.

"It's been excellent," said Jolley, who added "people are

thrilled" to know they don't have to travel far anymore to

satisfy their cigar desires. Many cigar aficionados have been

journeying over the Buckman Bridge, to places like The Avenues,

or St. Augustine, to find just the right accoutrements, she

said.

The Cigar Box offers all handrolled, premium cigars imported

from places such as Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the

Dominican Republic, with prices for individual cigars ranging

from about $1.50 to $9.50. It also carries humidors, lighters

and novelty items such as T-shirts, calendars, magazines and

books, Jolley said.

The Orange Park Cigar Box was opened in response to the growing

demand -- from both men and women -- for cigars, she said. It is

part of a Miami-based chain, started within the last year or so,

called Cigar Box Enterprises. Currently, there are six Cigar

Boxes. In addition to the Orange Park store, there are four in

the Miami area and one in Atlanta, Jolley said.

Orange Park was chosen for one of the sites because the owners

wanted to stake a claim in North Florida, she said. Since there

was already a tobacco shop at The Avenues, the Orange Park Mall

was chosen, she said, adding it's proven to be an excellent

choice.

"Orange Park is a good location, especially with places like

Pace Island and Eagle Harbor here," said Jolley, referring to

the two upscale Fleming Island developments.

But while some cigar smokers may be part of the "executive"

crowd, others hail from different walks, said Jolley, who added

most of her customers are men from ages 22 to 55.

"They're all types," she said, "I think it's hit all classes."

Women, too, are getting into the act more, and Jolley said she

sees a number of them as customers. Today's women may believe

cigar smoking for them is considered more acceptable than in

days past, or they may hope it makes them seem more like "one of

the guys" in the workplace, Jolley said.

Jolley attributes the general rise in popularity of cigars to

people's desire to get away from the stress and strain of

today's fast-paced world and "get back to the old days."

"People want to sit back and relax, and having a cigar is one

way to do it. It's an inexpensive way to sit back and relax,"

she said.

Former Orange Park restaurateurs Wilfried and Aimee Hausy are

settling in to their new role as owners of 24 Miramar, an

upscale restaurant on Jacksonville's Hendricks Avenue, says

Aimee Hausy. …

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