Kutztown’s come a long way since the days of one traffic light, one coffee shop and one convenience store. A few gems have been added here and there, some of them a bit under the radar, but all of them contributing to the wonderful community we love so much. For example, did you know there was a cigar lounge & store on North Constitution Boulevard, tucked away to the left, just before reaching Turkey Hill?
There’s a good chance you heard of the stellar operation and maybe even stopped in for a purchase, but what you might not know is you can now purchase KTL Cigars’ products when staying at Main Street Inn. We always suggest paying the owner a visit if you’re from out of town but when guests are craving a cigar after hours, they can get them right at Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast and enjoy them on the lovely terrace, porch, or their room balcony.
In an effort to learn more about our awesome cigar supplier and the operation he’s running downtown, we put Todd Folk on the chopping block and loved what he had to say about upcoming events, when he likes to enjoy a cigar, and what Kutztown characteristics he’s fond of. We think you’ll enjoy the answers, too!
Main Street Inn: KTL Cigars is a distributor of tobacco products and accessories in Kutztown, PA with very future plans of becoming a lounge as well. Can you tell us where the entire idea came from for this store and why?
Todd Folk: I was sitting on my porch enjoying a cigar talking with an old friend of mine. It was fall, and both of us were discussing how we did not like to smoke in the cold because it isn’t enjoyable and how the closest cigar lounge was too far away. So, from there I just decided to start one around here.
MSI: The Grand Opening of your member’s only lounge is slated for October 13. What can people expect at this special event?
TF: The Oct 13th opening is for Members only. We will be making fresh brick oven pizza for all of our members. It really is just a time where we can thank our member’s and get to know them better through good food and obviously good cigars.
MSI: So you have a Member’s Only Lounge. How do you actually become a member? Are there specific requirements and, once a member, what are other rewards besides the lounge?
TF: Becoming a member is actually quite easy, the Club Membership is $120/year + a purchase of at least 6 cigars a month (this is a cigar lounge after all). With that members can enjoy access to the lounge and its amenities (WiFi, espresso, etc.) as well as discounts on cigars, special members only deals and discounts, access to member’s only events, and reduced pricing on certain public events (such as a scotch pairing). Also members are allowed to bring a certain number of guests to smoke with them as well. We also have a Preferred Membership which offers a bigger discount, more guests, a private locker, and more.
MSI: What are some top name brands that you carry which some cigar aficionados of Kutztown and the surrounding area might be surprised to hear?
TF: We carry a few big names such as Drew Estate, Joya de Nicaragua, and La Flor Dominicana. We tend to focus more on boutique lines of cigars that are still owned by the people who founded them. Such companies include EPC, Pinar del Rio, Cuban Stock, and Jesus Fuego just to name a few.
MSI: How do you decide which cigars to stock? Are there certain characteristics to look for in a good cigar?
TF: I like to look for unique companies. If they aren’t owned by a huge tobacco conglomerate I find that the cigars end up being more unique in profile and characteristics. Something you can only get when a company is run by the people who truly have a passion for their product.
MSI: Cigars are often associated with celebratory experiences like a baby being born or daughter getting married. When are your most favorite times to smoke a cigar?
TF: Haha! Breakfast. I enjoy a Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo with my morning espresso. While that may not be special enough of an occasion for some people, I see it as a triumph over the previous day. I’m still here, still kicking, and heck, its a great way to start your morning!
MSI: Do you plan on having any special events at your store in the near future besides the Grand Opening?
TF: Tons! We will be holding several events every month, some open to the public like a Chili Cook-off Competition with Drew Estate in December, but many others will be member centric, like blind tastings, pairings, and just general fun events.
MSI: What’s your favorite part of Kutztown, the community where your store resides, and why would you tell people to visit here if they’ve never been before?
TF: Oh, wow, my favorite part is the little waterfall on the Saucony Creek Trail. Relaxing and enjoying a cigar and coffee there has cleared my mind many times. Past that, its the unique businesses around town. I live and breath by the coffee roasted at Global Libations (I have never found an espresso as good and trust me I drink a lot of coffee). Frying Dutchman makes great and unique doughnuts and other baked goods… and many other places. The feel is not slow paced but not fast paced, its right in the middle… it is a great location for someone who likes to always be moving but never wants to slow down too much, if you get what I mean.
Photographs courtesy of KTL Cigar Lounge.