House of Horvath: Jeff, when did Jade Smoker’s Corner first open its doors?
Jeff Arrowsmith: Jade Smoker’s Corner first opened in 1977, after my stepfather purchased an existing store called “The Smoke Shop” which had opened opened ten years earlier in 1967. Over the next few years we expanded quickly, and at one point in the 1980s we had six Jade stores operating in Regina.
The original location – which we’ve kept – is located here in the Centennial Mall at 1230 Broad Street in Regina.
HOH: Wow. That’s a lot of Smoker’s Corners. What area of Regina do you currently serve?
Jeff: We’re are located in the Warehouse District of Regina. Since Regina is a smaller city, we essentially serve the entire city as well as the towns in southern and northern Saskatchewan.
HOH: When did your appreciation for cigars develop, and what led you to becoming a tobacconist?
Jeff: My appreciation for cigars began when I was a teenager working for my stepfather in the Jade stores. He sold and represented Cuban cigars and all Dunhill products for Canada for Claredon Imports. He was a Rothmans of Pall Mall manager for over 35 years.
My stepfather inspired me to become a professional tobacconist.
HOH: Well you have definitely curated quite a selection. In your opinion, what’s the “best bang for your buck cigar” available at Jade?
Jeff: Any bundled cigar is a great bang for your buck. We sell popular bundles from HofH, Bravos, Quorum, and others.
HOH: Conversely, what’s the most expensive cigar or box of cigars that you’ve ever sold?
Jeff: A box of Cohiba Behikes. They’re currently $300 a cigar.
HOH: We all know that things can get a little chilly in Saskatchewan. Where do people go to smoke a cigar during the cold weather season in Regina?
Jeff: Most of my regular customers will smoke in their garages and man caves. A few smoke cigars in their vehicles and a few even brave it outside. Due to the ultra restrictive smoking bylaws in Saskatchewan, not even a private club is permitted to have smoking. The only other option is on First Nations’ land.
HOH: Personally, what’s your most dependable cigar accessory?
Jeff: Definitely my Davidoff cigar cutter.
HOH: What’s your best hand-made short-filler cigar?
Jeff: The Arturo Fuente Curly Head.
HOH: What cigar in your humidor has the thickest ring gauge, and what is its measurement?
Jeff: We carry several 70 ring gauge cigars. Most companies are offering these now. My best selling 70 ring gauge cigars would be the Alec Bradley Texas Lancero followed by the CAO Big Block and then the Dominion Venus.
HOH: What piece of advice would you give to someone who is new to cigars?
Jeff: Start off with smaller sizes like a corona or robusto until you get comfortable. Make sure you have something to sip while your smoking. We usually steer a beginner towards something Dominican.
The museum-like walls to Jade’s
HOH: Rapid-Fire Question Time!
My Father or Fuente? Fuente. Wooden match or butane torch? Butane. Churchill or Robusto? Robusto. Bourbon or rum? Bourbon. Connecticut or Cameroon? Cameroon. Humidity pack or distilled water? Humidity pack. Enjoying a cigar alone with your thoughts or enjoying a cigar while conversing with others? Enjoying a cigar alone. Dominican or Nicaraguan? Dominican. Smoke a cigar down to the band, or smoke a cigar right down to the nub? Down to the band.
HOH: What’s your favorite cigar and drink pairing? Let’s get specific here…
Jeff: A Simon Bolivar Royal Corona and an ice cold root beer hits the spot perfectly.
HOH: Now THAT sounds great. Thank you Jeff, and thank you for serving your cigar community for almost a half century now.