Now, he’s hoping that business, Brown & Sons Premium Cigars, becomes your passion.
Brown, along with his wife, his dad and his brother, have recently opened a new cigar store in Olympia, turning a former tanning salon Andrew owned into a plush, stylish meeting place where friends can buy and smoke cigars.
“It’s a passion,” Andrew said about smoking cigars. “It’s become a pastime.”
A couple of times a month, Andrew’s dad, Kurt, and brother, Tim, would come over to his house for dinner. Inevitability, they’d smoke a cigar and “solve world problems.”
It was during those discussions that they came up with an idea of opening a cigar store. But before they opened the doors of their dream store, they had to come up with a name. It was Andrew and his 14-year-old son, Tyler, who first came up with the idea of calling it Brown & Sons.
“Then I got on the phone and asked my dad what he thought and he liked it,” Andrew said. “With our name, we want it to be a successful business that we can pass on generation to generation.”
Brown & Sons will offer a wide range of boutique cigars and will be fully stocked with all the necessities of cigar smoking. Eventually, Andrew said his family owned store will include a smoke room, where people can come, smoke and talk. They’ve already built a card room and a TV room.
Most of the cigars at Brown & Sons will come out of Florida. Andrew and his wife plan on flying to Nicaragua in January to visit Nick Perdomo, who makes the cigars that the Browns will carry in their store. Perdomo, one of six families in South America in the cigar business, will host the Browns for a week, introducing them to how their cigars go from seeds to a packaged product.
“Most of our cigars are straight from the families who make them,” Andrew said. “We wanted to buy cigars that you can’t buy online.”
By doing that, Brown & Sons will become a unique place where people who enjoy smoking a smooth, favorable cigar that they can’t find elsewhere.
Kurt Brown said deciding what makes a good cigar is a personal taste.
“It’s the feel. It’s how it looks to you,” Kurt said. “The darker rappers are a little stronger taste. A real fine cigar has all the things you like.”
Andrew grew up in Olympia and Tenino, graduating from Tenino High School in 2001. He’s managed and owned several businesses, including a tanning salon – the old Jamaica-me Tan on the corner of Martin Way and Carpenter. With Kurt doing much of the carpentry work and his wife, Sue, doing the paint and furniture selections along with the accompanying decor, the Browns have transformed that 2,100-square foot building into a classy cigar store with a smoking room, a large humidor, a TV room with a large flat screen and a card room.
“We’ve tried to make it as comfortable as possible,” Andrew said. “It’s turned out nicer than we could have hoped.”
The Brown family plan on hosting wine tasting parties and invite guests to talk about cigar brands. The family will purchase a liquor license so they’ll be able to serve wine
Andrew and his wife, Kristine, currently own a day care.
“I tell everyone that I needed something to get my man card back,” Andrew said with a chuckle. “Because owning a tanning salon and a daycare doesn’t look good on a resume.”
After eight months of remodeling and planning, Brown & Sons opened its doors Sept. 1. That’s when Andrew first put up the sign that their dream business was open. Sometime in October Andrew said the shelves of his dream store will be fully stocked with cigars, cutters and butane refills.
Andrew is drawn by the simple pleasure of smoking cigars.
“For me, it’s the camaraderie of what cigar smoking is for my dad and my brother and me,” Andrew said. “Whether you’re playing poker or just talking. There’s also nothing like watching TV and smoking a good cigar.”
Andrew, with the help of his family, has turned that pleasure into a business that they hope will be around a long, long time, becoming a regular meeting place for friends.
6502 Martin Way E.
Olympia, Washington 98516