The Little Brand That Could

Almost ten years ago, I was asked to make some blends for our pipe club to try. The feedback was so positive that we put them in jars and began to sell them in the store. They sold so well that we put them on the website, and Hearth & Home hearth home jpgwas born. The original series, which we later named the Signature Series, grew quite a bit and some of those blends, Anniversary Kake, Larry’s Blend and Classic Burley Kake, to name a few, have become some of our best-selling tobaccos, regardless of brand.  I was overwhelmed by the response, and actually blended every bit of the H&H tobaccos until 2012. By that time, there was no way I could handle the volume, so now it’s made for us, to my specifications, using the same components and processes I used. At this point, we sell more H&H tobacco in one week than we sold in the entire first year of the brand.

In 2011, I came across some rare and costly tobaccos that I fell in love with, so we created the Marquee Series, because we couldn’t sell those blends as inexpensively as the Signature Series. Now, BlackHouse, Magnum Opus and WhiteKnight are among the biggest movers. Shortly, we’ll be reaching out to a new audience with some Hearth & Home blends. A lot of people were very disappointed when Middleton discontinued a number of their tobaccos, and others have been put off by the rise in the prices of the blends they continue to make. We’ll be introducing our Hearth & Home Mid-Town Series, so folks who enjoyed Middleton Cherry, Kentucky Club Aromatic, Walnut and Sugar Barrel will have close facsimiles of their old favorites, and those who found that Prince Albert and Carter Hall are being priced out of reach will have an alternative that’s over 20% lower in price.

Also, in the early part of 2015, we’ll be releasing something that I’ve dreamt about for a number of years – the first Hearth & Home pipes. These are substantial briars that are American-made, and will be available in tan and black sandblasts. Best of all, they’re moderately-priced, and have great engineering. I’m looking at one of the advance models right now, and they’re amazing. I want to get one as soon as they arrive. One in particular has really caught my eye – a Charatanesque oversized Dublin. There will be eight classic shapes that are remarkably light for their larger sizes.

As we enter the new year and prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of H&H, I can promise you that the best is yet to come, and I’d like to thank all of you who have helped turn Hearth & Home into the little brand that could.

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.