Jeff Beal turned his hobby into a business on April 1, 2017, when he and his team of cigar lovers opened The Cigar Vault in downtown Buda.
“We [Beal and General Manager Brian Foley] both knew cigars and how to smoke cigars, but who do we get them from? Why are we getting it from them? Is the pricing good? Who can we trust?” Beal said. “Neither one of us really had any experience in this [cigar]industry, so building relationships with people who knew what they were doing was important.”
Not only is the Cigar Vault a lounge that sells boutique and mainstream cigars, but it also has a variety of wine and craft beers on tap, several of which are from local breweries, such as Two Wheel Brewery in Buda.
The Cigar Vault also sells coffee and espresso drinks as well as handcrafted tobacco pipes. Throughout the week the lounge hosts potluck Sundays, poker games and Texas sporting event watch parties on its outdoor patio.
Foley said what makes The Cigar Vault stand out from other cigar lounges is the staff treats customers like family. There are no membership fees, and they want every type of person to experience the lounge.
“It has always been kind of taboo for people to go into a cigar shop if they don’t know what they are doing. They feel intimidated. We didn’t want that,” Foley said. “You don’t need to know about cigars; it doesn’t matter. We’re still learning, and we want you to be comfortable. We genuinely care about you, not that you are here to buy cigars, but you as a person in this community because [we’re] family.”
As The Cigar Vault continues to grow, Beal and Foley said they would be interested in participating in local events, and then eventually, they would like to create their own cigar, beer and wine festival in Buda.
“We’re going to grow organically because Buda is [growing]. We get new customers every weekend from people who visit Buda,” Foley said. “If we went to advertise, we would be stuffed to the gills sooner rather than later. I think growing as we are [by word of mouth]and the sizing constraints [of]the building, we are comfortable with what the business has become.”
The Cigar Vault
210 N. Main St., Buda
Hours: Sun.-Thurs. noon-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.