I fell in love with tobacco at a very early age when my grandfather
would take me in the back of his truck on weekdays in the summer to
the tobacco wholesale auction in a small town in North Carolina
called Fairmont. I still vividly remember that amazing smell as he
grabbed tobacco from each bale to inspect it for quality. My love for cigars started when my brother bought me my first cigar in high school and from then on, I was hooked. Cigars have become a real passion and my one true hobby. From the artistry of the boxes and bands. To the beauty of the leaf in its raw form. The entire process of hand rolling to smoking is something I have loved to my core since that first cigar at age 17. Fast forward a few years and as a customer of Anstead's in its original location. Wayne and I developed a friendship. That lead to many factory tours together and a lot of hours over the years talking about business, life, and cigars. Owning my own retail store and lounge has been a dream for many years and one that I started to seriously pursue in 2019. Little did I know what opportunity was truly in store for Wayne an myself. After a casual conversation in December of 2020 when Wayne said, “Charles why don’t you buy the place!” Wayne and I began the journey to transition the future and legacy of Anstead’s for the next generation. I was honored and proud to become the new owner of Anstead’s Tobacco Company in May of 2022. I look forward to many more years of carrying on the legacy of this great store and this great hobby!
I have been in the Premium Pipe tobacco and cigar
business since 1975. I started as a part time employee
with The Tinder Box in 1975 and within a year was managing
the store in St. Louis at age 19. From day one I enjoyed the
business and the products we carried. I spent 5 years managing
stores throughout the country before settling in Fayetteville NC. My wife and I purchased the Fayetteville Tinder Box Location in 1983, In 1990 we separated from Tinder Box International and became an independent Tobacco shop… Anstead’s Tobacco Company. We operated in Cross Creek mall for 37 years before moving to our current freestanding location in 2013....know as
The Big Red Barn. The Big Red Barn was built back in the 40's as a dairy and hay barn. It was later used as a sporting goods store and men's clothing store before sitting empty for years. Understanding the culture of the business we felt we needed to create a location that customers would want to come purchase cigars as well as come smoke with us in a lounge. After a full blown remodel we opened our new lounge which is large enough for over 100. As well a full bar to complement the cigars that we offer. This large venue has given us many opportunities to host manufactures reps and owners. As a well offering a unique opportunity to grow the shop into one of the best on the east coast.