New cigar shop opens at Stokies location

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DSC_0256-webFor cigar enthusiasts, a specialty store has opened in Andalusia to meet those needs.

Paul Brackins, owner of the new Stokies Cigars, opened the store to the public just over a month ago, and he said the cigar business has been doing well.

“Everything in here is a specialty tobacco, not something you can get in a convenience store,” Brackins said. “I won’t carry anything that you can get in a retail shop. I want to keep it as a specialty shop. I’m hoping this will grow by what people want.

“Cigars are made to be elegant. They’re for those who enjoy it,” he said. “It’s something you can sit back, relax and enjoy doing.”

The store was originally going to be used as a base of operations for his fire extinguisher business, Covington Fire Protection, but he wanted to share his love of cigars, pipes and motorcycle life with the community.

“I love cigars and pipes, and like to talk cigars,” Brackins said. “My wife bought me my first hand rolled cigar 17 years ago in Gatlinburg, Tenn.”

He said he’s just been hooked since.

Brackins said he had a specialty cigar shop in the Covington Mall more than five years ago, and really wanted to bring that back.

He said this shop also provides a variety of items for cigar and tobacco connoisseurs including hand rolled cigars from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, flavored cigars, loose leaf pipe tobacco and even hookah tobacco.

He said one goal for the cigar part of the shop is to have a gazebo where cigar and pipe aficionados can come together and enjoy smoking with their buddies.

Last year Brackins and his wife Teresa bought a motorcycle, and he said they wanted to add bike apparel and accessories to the shop, as well.

“We’re hoping to get a sign out front about the motorcycle apparel,” Brackins said. “We have many Kuryakyn catalogs to choose from and can order anything specifically for your bike.”

The shop features biker shirts, leather jackets, vests, gloves and a variety of other bike related accessories.

“I’d also like to expand the shop and host poker runs and barbecues for bikers,” Brackins said.

Brackins said the goal of choosing the building was to revitalize it and keep as much of the same character it used to have.

“When I bought the store, I kept it Stokies,” Brackins said. “I wanted to preserve it and keep the memory of this place for the older community members. I want to put Stokies back on the map for this area.”

Brackins said he began renovating the store a couple years ago by replacing the roof, adding a drop ceiling, putting in new floors and constructing a new addition.

“We do what we can to support the community,” Brackins said. “There are so many buildings that need to be brought back.”

He said with some good love and care, older buildings can be brought back to life, and he wishes more people would fix up the older buildings in town.

“There are some beautiful buildings here,” Brackins said. “I bought a table saw and chop saw and learned how to use them on this building.

“I worked it to death getting this place ready,” he said. “I enjoyed it. The results are what matters.”

The shop is located at 500 Sanford Rd., and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call the shop at 334-222-9406.