One man is bringing his love of premium cigars to Beatrice with the opening of a new smoke shop.
Fred Naumann opened Smoke and Fire Cigars earlier this month, offering a wide variety of cigars at the premium shop in the Mercantile Building.
“We have a full selection of premium cigars,” he said. “Going into spring we’re going to try to cater to as many customer requests as I can to bring premium cigars to Beatrice.”
The shop is one of three businesses in the recently-refreshed building at 301 Court St., in addition to a boutique called The Gorgeous Hanger and Stone Hollow Brewery, which anchors the building.
Naumann plans to work with the brewery and offer cigar and beer pairings, and other specials.
“I think that it’s kind of a pairing between tow handmade products,” Naumann said. “The beer is handmade right here, the cigars are handmade throughout the world and I’m bringing them here to Beatrice. It’s just two things that are meant for enjoyment.”
Smoke and Fire Cigars is open from noon to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, hours that were also set with the brewery in mind.
While he stressed there is no smoking in the store or building, Smoke and Fire Cigars is located on the west side of building next to an outdoor porch area where customers are welcome to smoke.
Naumann, a Wymore resident who works as a 911 dispatcher, hopes to someday expand the store to a lounge. He said the store’s three full humidors are capable of carrying 3,000-4,000 cigars.
“I think those people who do smoke cigars regularly here in Beatrice are excited about the fact that they have a closer, more accessible tobacco shop to them,” Naumann said. “The closest one from here would be Lincoln. Having to go that far to get a premium cigar and talk to somebody who owns the shop and maybe understands cigars more and what’s out there, that’s the value that I’m bringing to Beatrice.”
For those who are interested in cigars but overwhelmed by the options, Naumann stressed to visit the store and talk to himself or another worker about the options and good starter cigars.
“The people who don’t smoke cigars regularly, I would welcome them to the shop so that they could learn about cigars and maybe find one they like,” he said. “Come into Smoke and Fire Cigar shop here and talk to me. Talk to anyone who might be working here that’s knowledgeable in cigars. We can tell them a little about what we have and what they might like to enjoy and something easy to start with.”
Naumann added he’s wanted to open a store for years, and that the reception so far has been positive.
“I wanted to open my own tobacco shop in Beatrice,” he said. “My passion has always been for premium quality cigars since college when I started smoking. What was a hobby turned into an obsession really quick. I’ve always wanted to run my own business. They say do what you love. I love cigars, and here we are.”