By Greg Wolford
Being from a small town it’s no surprise that we don’t have a lot of choices for locally buying quality tobaccos or pipes; even the standard OTC blends can be a bit hard to find at times, some impossible. We do have one old tobacconist in Huntington, about 15 minutes from my home though so there are s few choices.
La Fontaines Tobacco & Wine (http://www.lafontaineswv.com/
) is a fairly old, established business, having been in business a good two decades, though moving their location at least once. In the old days they were more cigar focused, and still are, but have really branched out to cater to the wine crowd over the last few years. We pipe men are all but left out these days. And considering they are only minutes from the university campus, they are missing a bit opportunity in this author’s opinion.
On any given day you will find a few dozen pipes in stock, mostly basket pipes, albeit quality ones in my experience. They carry a few meerschaum pipes and their only brand-pipe is Savinelli. The don’t dabble in the estate market or cleanin/repairs at all.
The tobacco selection is, unfortunately, just as limited. They carry 12 bulk blends, mostly Lane and Suttliff, all of which are aromatics. Tins you are likely to find are Dunhill (EMP, MM965, Royal Yacht, and Nightcap) and CAO (Eileen’s Dream and Cherry Bomb); I can’t recall seeing any other tins in stock in the last several years and they aren’t inclined to add any because they might not move, the owner said to me; obviously he doesn’t understand that tins get better with age, not go down in value or quality.
Pricing is as you’d probably expect: high. All of their Savinelli and meerschaum pipes are priced at or above MSRP and the tins are above MSRP; bulk blends are $3/ounce. Unfortunately their pricing structure and distance from my home make it much more affordable to order online the items I want/need, even if it’s only a few ounces/tins of tobacco.