Your Cigar Den Under New Ownership
Tony Ghaffari has always had a passion for cigars.
But he likely could not have predicted one day owning a cigar shop in State College.
Ghaffari, who moved to State College with his family in 1998 after retirement, recently transitioned his hobby into a business with the purchase of Your Cigar Den in the 100 block of South Fraser Street.
In 2003, Ghaffari started going to Your Cigar Den regularly and for the last six years he's visited the store once a week. Earlier this year, when the owner passed away, the owner's wife asked if Ghaffari wanted to buy in.
Soon enough, Ghaffari -- who also owns Central PA 360, a commercial photography business at Beaver Avenue and Allen Street -- became the owner of the cigar shop.
The official grand re-opening was held Aug. 15.
"It's a huge jump, but I don't really see it as a job. I really have a passion for cigars," says Ghaffari. "It's more fun than a job."
On the surface, the shop looks the same, but there have been some changes. First, Ghaffari says inventory has at least doubled.
"There is not an inch to put additional cigars in the humidors," he says.
Secondly, the shop has significantly expanded its accessory inventory, which consists of three display cases.
Additionally, Ghaffari says prices have dropped because he is now purchasing cigars directly from manufacturers. He says in some cases a cigar may be $1 cheaper.
Ghaffari also installed two 60-inch TVs, which allows patrons to sit back and watch sporting events. He also installed a new air filtration system.
The new owner also revamped the shop's signature Nittany White and Blues house blend. The cigars are now from Nicaragua with four different flavor profiles. Ghaffari says the new versions are already popular.
"People come in and try them and they love them, so I'm really proud of that," he says.
The clientele is mostly professionals. However, Ghaffari says more college students are checking out the store.
The shop also has longer hours. Tuesday through Saturday the shop is open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The store is closed Sundays.