Payless Tobacco Opens Up Shop in Albertville

Payless Tobacco has opened its first location and has hit the ground running with just a few days behind them.

“We’ve had a lot of activity,” Payless marketing director and part owner, Burt Alexander, said Tuesday. Alexander said he came out of retirement to open the shop with family friends.

The shop, which is located in the mall with Caribou and Subway near County Road 19 and Interstate 94, advertised with nearly 21,000 inserts and coupons in the local shoppper and boasts a large savings over convenience and gas stations.

“It’s a big cost difference,” he said.

The group is looking beyond Albertville, too.

“This is just our first location, we don’t hope to open others, we are going to open other locations,” Burt said.

The store sells just about any tobacco product imaginable ranging from cigarettes, chewing tobacco, roll your own tobacco, tobacco accessories and cigars.

The roll your own is especially popular as customers can expect to pay approximately $1.20/pack versus $6.00/pack. “It’s a very big item these days,” Burt said.

“It’s more than about selling for me,” part owner Sean Albarghouthi said. “It’s about having a one to one relationship and conversation, paying attention to each and every customer and what they need and desire.”

The two promise that if there is something not in store that a customer wants, they will get it, most of the time within 24 hours.

Sean was born and raised in the tobacco shop business and runs the business along with family friend, Burt and family.

In addition to running the day to day business of the shop, Sean also designed and decorated the entire shop. “I drew on paper how we wanted it to look, along with the design of the humidor,” he said.

“There’s a big demand for good, quality cigars. I’ve been a cigar lover all of my life. There’s nothing better,” Burt said.

The cigar selection is impeccable. With a walk-in humidor insulated to keep the humidity at 68 to 72 percent humidity at all times, every detail was thought of.

“We spent days visiting lumberyards looking for just the right cedar wood,” Sean said.

“It’s exciting to finally be open and to be doing well right away,” Burt said also noting the nearest tobacco shops are in Monticello and Maple Grove.

“The time and location was right,” Sean added.

By Samara Postuma

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