While growing up in Burlington, my Dad always taught me the importance of small businesses. The independently run shops and restaurants are what give a city its personality. That really stuck with me.
A couple of months ago, my brother in law came to me and said, “Hey man, I just got my haircut at this place in the village that you’ve got to check out!” That’s how I first heard the name, Village Cigar Company and Barbershop. Located on Pine Street, a few doors down from Paradiso’s, this Cigar and Barber shop is exactly the type of small business my Dad was talking about.
The shop opened its doors on July 20th, 2012. It is the brainchild of owners and friends, Ryan and Jerry.
“When we’re here, we’re home,” Jerry said. “When we’re not here, we want to be here.” It’s clear the guys love what they do. They take the time to walk you through the large selections of cigars inside their 100 square-foot humidor. It is one of the largest in the country.
I went into their shop for the first time on the weekend of Beer Fest launch. Jerry picked me out a cigar, and it was the best I have ever had. They came up with the idea for the cigar shop out of their mutual love of them. “Ryan and I consider ourselves cigar connoisseurs, and we had always gone into Oakville, Hamilton and as far as the States to get cigars,” said Jerry. “There were no shops in Burlington, so that’s what led us to open the shop.” The boys both had full – time jobs before moving into business ownership.
Yesterday was the fourth time they had a roller, in – house. Tania Perera
Sivero flew in from Cuba. She is an expert roller for Habanos, and has been for the past 20 years. It was fascinating to watch Ms Sivero work. It seems like such a complicated process. Cigars are layer upon layer of wrapper tightly rolled around the freshest tobacco; it seems like a time consuming task. Ms Sivero was cranking them out very quick!
Our friends from Trafalgar Ale’s & Meads (AKA Trafalgar Artisanal Distillery) were there with samples of their flavoured moonshine and beer; although this post isn’t about them, you need to try their apple pie moonshine. GM, Connor met Jerry a little while back and the two struck up a good relationship. This is Trafalgar’s second event with Village Cigar Company and Barbershop.
“It’s great having a small business in Burlington,” said Jerry. “The local economy is doing very well and it’s an affluent neighbourhood so there is definitely a clientele.”
They’re not just from Burlington, their clients. I had the chance to speak with a few out of towners who made the trip.
Carlos is from Brampton; he is actually a Cigar blogger who has frequented most of the shops in the GTA. “This definitely one of the best. Where else can you go to find all that they have here?” They currently stock over 60 brands, 300 different cigars!
You don’t have to wait until later to enjoy your cigar; they’ve set up a small patio behind their shop where you can take a load off. This is part of what Jerry and Ryan are trying to sell; not so much a product but a lifestyle.
Cigars are a way to relax, Jerry says. When your enjoying one, you’re usually savouring the aromas and enjoying the flavour. This can help you to slow down and take a moment to enjoy, rather than be rushing around
Jerry and Ryan are looking to expand. They brought in a barber after opening and are one of the few places in Burlington to offer a classic straight razor shave. There are only two chairs in the building that are booked solid two days in advance. They also provide a selection of gentlemanly accoutrements such as ‘beard balm’.
Their second birthday is coming up on the 20th of this month. They’ve grown so much to this point due to overwhelming support in the community.
Burlington is built around amazing businesses like this. They need support to grow even further. Even if you don’t smoke, come for a cut and meet the guys, you’ll love it.
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