Three Cheers for Good B&M's

This is a shoutout and thanks to Dan Spaniola and Paul's Pipe Shop up in Flint.

About two weeks ago I purchased this nice little Sav Tre series billiard. I was happily breaking it in, when all of a sudden it got clogged. Couldn't draw, couldn't run a cleaner through it. Could run a thin wire. I knew I was running low on Arrowhead, the flagship blend at Paul's, so I decided to run up there. I had previously had a very positive experience with a repair they did.

Drove up there, Dan took it into the back, and had it clear in no more than maybe ten minutes. Said he used a small drill bit as a reamer. Nothing came out – he had no idea what happened. Charge – zip nada. (May have been different if I wasn't buying 8 ounces of Arrowhead.) Gassed up my car, had lunch, and happily smoked Capstan blue in it on the way home. (I ran a cleaner through it three times on the drive.) Total time spent – a hair over three hours.

As a side note, Paul's is the place to look for old blends. I saw canisters of Sail Green and Sail Red, with the Theodorus Niemeyer name on them. Lord knows how long ago Sail Red was discontinued...


  • While online retailers can beat the socks off of B&M on price, they will never be able to offer the kind of customer service that you can get at a B&M. Glad to hear they took such good care of you! 
  • Paul's has been in business for well over 70 years. They are a true legend. 
  • To everyone with a Proper Tobacco Shop near you count yourself lucky. If I did I'd make regular purchases - if for no other reason than to insure it remained in business. I wouldn't mind spending a few extra bucks on tobacco to keep a local shop owner in business ... although I'd have to be honest and say with prices being much cheaper from on-line retailers ... the bulk of my orders would be going to places like Pipes & Cigars. But I'd make sure to visit my local B&M for a couple of tin purchases per month to establish myself as a 'regular'. And find an occasion to meet another fellow piper in person. Which is something I really miss when The Tinder Box closed down. There always seemed to be a fellow piper willing to make a recommendation or just chat about the hobby or their latest purchase.
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