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Chester County Press

Living My Best Cigar Life

12/01/2020 12:28PM ● By Steven Hoffman
One of the newest additions to downtown Kennett Square is something completely different.  It’s Living My Best Cigar Life. The new store at 116 West State Street is truly a premium cigar shop complete with all kinds of cigar and cigar lifestyle accessories, plus a tasting room where you can enjoy your latest purchase. 
Living My Best Cigar Life will feature three thousand premium cigars, name brand accessories, humidors in all sizes for purchase. 
The shop features a very wide range of cigars with selections that should appeal to every taste and every budget. New cigar smokers can rely on assistance in selecting an appropriate cigar and finding the right accessories. Longtime cigar lovers will also appreciate suggestions on new tastes to try or the best cigars to pair with whiskey or wine.
Special pairing events will be regular features on the calendar at Living My Best Cigar Life. “At times we will have complimentary glasses of wine or whiskey, paring nights with a selection of cigars paired with multiple whiskies or wines,” Gregg Fornario said. 
Living My Best Cigar Life can also bring cigar selections to your location for private parties, weddings or corporate events.
“You can book us to go to your catered event, that’s something that is becoming more and more popular now,” Fornario said.
Living My Best Cigar Life makes picking out a cigar related gift easy. “If you know the person, and know what they smoke, that’s one thing. If you come to my store and ask what’s good to smoke, we have mix and match sets and gift sets,” Fornario said.
Fornario explained that unlike cigarette smokers who often stick to just their favorite brand, a cigar smoker loves a good cigar of any kind. 
“You’re going to have your favorites, but you’re going to want to try different cigars,” he said. “If someone gave me a sampler of five cigars, I’d be more thrilled than if they gave me five of my favorite cigars.”
The price range on cigars is just as variable as the brands and flavors.  “Premium cigars can get pricy, yet we also have cigars for only five bucks. There are a lot of beginner packs that are very affordable,” Fornario said. “When I started to get into the premium cigars, I wanted something affordable to start out with. You start exploring and go from there. You start tasting more cigars and find out what you like.”
The higher cost of cigars as opposed to cigarettes can be misleading. Cigars are smoked differently and last longer. “If you want to sit down and smoke the whole cigar it can last you two hours,” Fornario said. “Cigars are for everything. It can be a relaxing day when you want to go sit down on the patio and smoke a cigar. It can be a celebration – it’s a boy or it’s a girl. Cigars can be a celebration or a wedding, a victory, or graduation. Cigars are for a lot of different occasions.”
Non-smokers can feel comfortable walking into the store where there is no smell of smoke outside of the tasting room.  That makes it a great place for anyone to shop for gifts for the cigar smoker in their life.
“Cigars are great gifts. It’s actually a huge gift buy for a dad, for a husband, for a grandfather. Here it’s not just going in buying a cigar and leaving. Sometimes you might want to splurge and buy a box of cigars. We have a lot of things at our shop that you might not see elsewhere. We have a lot of accessories, including high-end ash trays, high-end torch lighters, and humidors.  We also have a lot of neat gift sets. A lot of cigars pair with whiskey so there are neat little rocks glasses. Cigars also pair with golf so there are golfing and cigar accessories,” Fornario said.
Unlike other cigar shops where accessories have to be ordered online, Living My Best Cigar Life carries its full range of products on site. That even includes a selection of cigar linked apparel and even fedoras for the complete look.
If you prefer ordering online, that option is also available at the Living My Best Cigar Live website where purchases can be shipped down the street or across the country. 
As an entrepreneur, Fornario looked to his hometown for his latest venture. A 1992 Kennett High School graduate, now living in Jennersville, he has always been passionate about cigars and passionate about Kennett Square. He found himself going to Delaware to get cigars and knew there should be a local alternative. 
“I’ve definitely always been a business guy. This is my first time entering into the tobacco business,” he said. 
Fornario has owned a bar in Hockessin and a night club in Wilmington, and is currently an owner of the Wheeling, West Virginia Rough Riders Arena Football team.
“Covid really put a damper on my arena football business. That stopped in March and there’s not really a green light for anything to come back anytime soon.” he said.
Before Covid-19 struck, he planned to open a cigar bar and restaurant. The pandemic put an end to that idea – at least for now – but Fornario has been able to adapt.
“This business doesn’t entail large gatherings or even medium gatherings. Two or three people might be in at one time. it’s a very safe environment,” Fornario said.  “The nature of the business is people come and go during the day.”
Additionally, Living My Best Cigar Life is located in the heart of Kennet Square. 
“I was born and raised in Kennett Square. This is where my heart is. I’m right here in the midst of all the great festivals they have all year long,” Fornario said. “This location is exactly where I want to be. I hope eventually to open a few more stores.”
Living My Best Cigar Life is open noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturday and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. Until you have a chance to stop in the store, explore the possibilities through social media on Instagram, and Face Book at Living My Best Cigar Life or visit the website at www.livingmybestcigarlife.com. You can also call the shop at 833-48CIGAR.

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