By Starrla Cray
DELANO, WAVERLY, MN The start of Fallah Tobacco, Inc. in Delano is a “pipe dream” come true for owner Naseer Mohammed of Waverly.
“As my wife put it, I’d be in heaven if I could have my own little tobacco shop,” Mohammed said.
The shop opened March 10, and it’s located on Highway 12 in the same building as True Value Hardware.
Mohammed had always planned to have a tobacco shop when he retired, but when he got laid off from his job in October, he decided it was a good time to start living his dream.
“Retirement came a little bit earlier than I expected,” he laughed.
Fallah Tobacco is already attracting a dedicated following of cigar connoisseurs and tobacco customers.
“Everybody who comes in here says they are glad we have a tobacco store in Delano,” Mohammed said.
Delano resident Drew Emmer is one such person.
“I like cigars, and this is close and handy,” he said.
Delano Mayor Joe McDonald, whose favorite brands of cigars include Punch and Montecristo, agreed.
Fallah Tobacco offers a wide selection of premium tobacco products, including nearly 50 types of cigars.
“I always smoked premium cigars,” Mohammed said. “I enjoy it a great deal.”
“The beautiful thing about a cigar is that you have to slow down to enjoy it,” according to Emmer.
“When having a cigar, you’re usually taking time to either enjoy someone’s company or just relax,” McDonald added.
Mohammed’s shop also offers tobacco accessories, such as pocket pouches and humidors. A humidor is a special case designed to keep cigars at the correct humidity level.
Two of Fallah Tobacco’s best assets are “price and selection,” according to Mohammed.
“The price is a little less than your average tobacco store,” he said.
Mohammed said he chose the name “Fallah” because it means “success” in Arabic.
Right now, anyone who walks into the shop will be personally greeted by Mohammed. Soon, however, he hopes to hire a couple of employees to help out, as well.
Mohammed has an associate’s degree in business administration.
“This is my first time in the retail business,” he said, but added that it he isn’t new to the customer service industry.
“I spent 30 years in customer service at a number of different companies and corporations,” he said.
Mohammed’s wife, Tati, who has a bachelor’s degree in business, helps with the paperwork for the tobacco shop.
During the day, she also works at Wells Fargo.
Mohammed and Tati have three daughters and one son.
“My youngest is 25,” Mohammed said.
In four or five years, Mohammed said he hopes to expand his tobacco shop’s services by becoming a distributor for premium cigars.
Fallah Tobacco, Inc. is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call the store at (612) 865-5057.