ADRIAN, Mich. —

After opening six discount tobacco stores in and around metro Detroit over the last decade-plus, Randy Jarbo and his brother Ronnie wanted to expand their business to a new geographic area.

Thanks to having a family friend who is an Adrian business owner, they already knew something about the city, and decided that Adrian would be a perfect new market for them. And so, on Dec. 1, they opened The Tobacco Shoppe at 1390 S. Main St., Suite C.

The Tobacco Shoppe, which Randy owns and Ronnie manages, sells everything smokers need, including name-brand cigarettes at discount prices, loose tobacco, rolling papers, cigars and accessories such as pipes, hookahs, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette cases, smoke-eliminating candles and incense. And, in addition to selling everything necessary to roll one’s own cigarettes, the staff can teach a customer how to actually do it. The store also offers preferred-customer cards.

“Everything is discounted,” said Randy Jarbo, with cigarettes costing as little as one-quarter the price as at a typical retail store because The Tobacco Shoppe operates with a low profit margin.

One special feature of the shop is the city’s only walk-in cigar humidor, a room that is especially designed to keep cigars fresh. This room stocks a wide array of choices for cigar lovers.

“We have cigars from Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, all over the world,” Jarbo said. “We probably have over a thousand brands of cigars.”

Just like wine, cigars have different flavors, thanks to their blends of tobacco and their ages, and they come at a variety of prices. The store’s staff can help a customer decide what type to buy depending on their taste preferences and when they like to smoke, such as after a meal.

The brothers are planning a grand opening later this year when the weather is warmer. But the shop is already doing well, Jarbo said. Its customers, whom he estimated are about evenly split between men and women, “love the store,” he said. “Every day they say how beautiful it is.”

The Tobacco Shoppe is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Its phone number is 920-4961.

This article was written based on information provided by the business.


The Tobacco Shoppe, a new store in Jackson, offers roll-your-own tobacco products, accessories

A new retail store that specializes in roll-your-own tobacco and accessories is now open in Jackson.

Randy Jarbo opened The Tobacco Shoppe, 802 W. Ganson St., in late June.

The store also sells discount cigarettes, lighters, hookahs and glass-blown pipes and has a walk-in humidor with fine cigars.

Jarbo, who is from the Metro Detroit area, said he has gotten a great response from customers so far.

“People are walking in here, saying ‘wow, this is beautiful,’” he said. “It’s the hugest tobacco shop in Jackson.”

The Tobacco Shoppe is across the street from Taco Bell. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more more information, call 395-4313 or email

By Tarryl Jackson | Jackson Citizen Patriot

James Jarbo is the owner of the new Tobacco Shoppe store on West   Columbia Ave.

When he was 18, James Jarbo was fresh out of school and began to work in a Detroit tobacco store owned by a local family.

He spent about a decade learning about the tobacco trade and, about five years ago, decided he wanted to launch out on his own. He and his brother Randy worked together to make that happen.

“I love the job,” James Jarbo said. “I love being in the tobacco business.”

Now he’s bringing the business that has been good to him to the Battle Creek-Kalamazoo area, by filling an empty Columbia Avenue storefront with a new commercial enterprise

Promoting a roll-your-own philosophy, the Jarbo brothers’ new Tobacco Shoppe opened in late February at 205 E. Columbia Ave., the former site of Big Apple Bagels.

Response to the shop already has been “great” said James Jarbo. “People are finding us.”

Indeed, on Saturday the shop’s generous, double-entrance parking lot seemed to be abuzz, with cars pulling in and out in quick succession.

The store will have a grand opening sometime soon, although no date has been set, Jarbo said.

The Jarbo brothers live in Jackson, where they operate a similar outlet. A third store is in Adrian and the brothers already have their sights on Kalamazoo, where they plan to open a fourth store on South Westnedge Avenue in June.

After searching the region, Jarbo said he “liked the area” around Battle Creek and believed the city could support what he regards as a unique business focusing on roll-your-own tobacco products, specialty cigars and tobacco-related products including lighters, humidors and ashtrays.

“There isn’t a shop like this in the city of Battle Creek or Kalamazoo,” he said, claiming to have “the cheapest prices in town and our customer service is very friendly.”

The idea is to offer smokers a way to burn less of their cash as cigarette and cigar prices continue to challenge their wallets.

First-time customers Steve and Sherry Heffel of Battle Creek gave Jarbo’s claim a quick nod during their initial visit Saturday.

“There’s a bigger selection here,” Heffel said. “The prices are a lot better.”

Heffel said he’s a regular buyer of loose tobacco and cigar tubes, and had stopped at the new store to check out its stock.

“I’ll be back,” he said, adding that he saves money by rolling his own smokes.

“This way, you can do it at 90 cents a pack,” he said. “That’s a big savings.”

Jarbo concurred with that estimate, saying most prepackaged cigarettes sell at prices ranging from $7 to $8.

The shop also caters to folks who prefer their tobacco in other forms — or even want to avoid it altogether while still enjoying a tobacco-ish experience.

Window displays include a variety of hookas and pipes, and one display case is well-stocked with items manufactured by Green Smoke, which manufactures an “electronic cigarette” producing a tobacco flavor without igniting actual tobacco.

Jarbo said the Green Smoke cartridges provide a smoking-like experience that approximate eight to nine packs of cigarettes at a cost of just under $15 — without risking the ill effects associated with tobacco.

Already in place is a glass-fronted humidor room, climate-controlled to protect the aromatic contents of the cigars it houses. An adjacent open space is being readied as a cigar lounge, and soon will feature comfortable chairs, coffee products and televised entertainment.

Those who’ve never rolled their own cigarettes can get a full demonstration from the shop’s staff using the mechanical equipment for sale there. The shop does not sell materials for rolling cigars, however.

In addition to the equipment, decorative items and branded cigars and cigarettes, the shop stocks 20 varieties of tobacco, Jarbo said.

And what’s the most popular variety — one that matches what’s used by the top cigarette brands?

Wouldn’t you know it? With a smile, Jarbo said it’s a brand called “The Good Stuff.”

Kevin Hare/The Enquirer