Riches in Richmond

The first day of the CORPS Exposition has wrapped up here in Richmond, Virginia. This has been my first show since my illness and surgery, and the outpouring of concern by my friends in the community and their surprise and pleasure at my weight loss has been heartwarming. I’ve had a great time reestablishing relationships and talking with attendees about our tobaccos.

For those of you who haven’t attended one of these shows, what are you waiting for? These are a lot of fun and you’ll see incredible work from a lot of really talented artisans. The conversations are alternately informative, funny, historical and opinionated, but always interesting.

Accompanying me here is the winner of our Fusion Lab contest winner, Trevor Birch, whose Caramel Apple Pie is now part of our Hearth & Home line. This is the friendly Minnesotan’s first pipe show, and he’s having a great time. I’m enjoying his reaction as it reminds me of the way I felt at my first show.

The big news is the reaction to our newest blend, Fusilier’s Ration. If the feedback is any indication, this is going to be HUGE! I was told by a couple of people who would know that it has hit the target, which was to recall the flavor of my old favorite, Bengal Slices. I love seeing big smiles when old memories are evoked.

Tomorrow will be a lot more fun, and I can’t wait. I’ll try to check in again at wrap-up time.

About Russ

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of tobaccos for in Bethlehem, PA. He has been a pipe smoker and blender for over 30 years, and enjoys feedback from the pipe smoking public. You can reach Russ at or by calling 1-800-494-9144.