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The Shapiros

The Shapiros & the “Good Smoke” | Cigar Friendly: Norwalk, CT

The Shapiro family has been in the cigar business for nearly 100 years.

In 1922, Morris Shapiro and his brother, Isador, opened a candy store and smoke shop in New York City called Shapiro’s Smoke Shop. A journey through the decades has transformed the family business from a tiny shop in Manhattan into a 4,000-square-foot (approx. 372-square-meter) retail outlet and federally licensed cigar factory in Norwalk, Connecticut, called Cigar Factory Outlet. “We have our warehouse, our offices and our retail shop there,” explains Brian Shapiro, who is co-owner with his father, Ron, and director of international sales for Oliva Cigar Company. “My Oliva International headquarters was ultimately based there as well.”

The retail outlet houses a “couple hundred facings,” but Oliva is the flagship brand, including a number of private-label bundle brands made by Oliva. Plus, they have their own cigar roller who makes cigars using only Oliva tobacco. The design of the facility is unique, in that the entire building is humidified, including the offices, warehouse and retail area. The entire space has a very open, “warehouse feel,” including the 500-square-foot (approx. 46-square-meter) lounge where they sell beer, spirits, and soft drinks.

The company’s success can be credited to its diversified business model within the industry. “We have a retail shop and cigar lounge, but we also found ways to expand beyond our physical location,” explains Brian. “We do weddings and corporate events, and distribute to golf clubs and liquor stores.”

CIGAR FACTORY OUTLET

27 Hanford PI Norwalk
CT 06854

George Manzella

George Manzella is a passionate cigar smoker who credits his father for introducing him to the leaf in 1994 when he was just 18 years old. George has been a high school teacher of English in New Jersey, USA since 2003 where he has taught literature, writing and journalism. He is also the founder of the New Jersey Cigar Club. George wrote for two local community periodicals prior to joining Cigar Journal in 2015. His passion for premium tobacco and his zest for writing has taken George on a remarkable journey through an enchanted world of unforgettable memories and life-long friendships.


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