About Russ

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of tobaccos for www.pipesandcigars.com 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 russo@pipesandcigars.com or by calling 1-800-494-9144.

Delivering the Goods

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Our name is PipesandCigars.com, but we’re probably better known for the incredible selection of products we carry on the pipe side of the business, along with the low prices and frequent bargains we offer. We recently realized that we haven’t paid enough attention to the cigar side, so, of course, I opened my stupid mouth […]

Taking One (or Many) for the Team

When I go to a pipe show, or when I get emails and phone calls, a common comment is “You have a great job, getting to try all the new tobaccos and cigars.” I most definitely agree with the first part of that statement, but as to the second part…well, it depends. The department to […]

Pipe Tobacco and Big Business

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We were talking here recently about why smaller boutique brands have been thriving in the pipe tobacco category while some of the mass-market brands are stagnant or declining, and one reason seems readily apparent. For boutique manufacturers and larger companies who make pipe tobacco and little else, pipe tobacco is very important to their survival. […]

Two Sides of the Same Coin

So far, I’ve made five pipe blends that contain some cigar leaf. I use it for two reasons- like Maryland, it can help the burning qualities of a too-slow-smoking mixture, and it increases the amount and density of the smoke itself. The most recent was Virginia Memory No. 10 from the Hearth & Home Marquee […]

What Do I Do?

After today, I’ll be on vacation until next Monday. This is the first time in a few years that I have taken this much time off in one block, except for the period following my surgery, and maybe that’s why I’m not looking forward to this quite as much as I should. While I was […]

The Neverending Quest

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I haven’t been writing quite as much for TalkingTobacco.com for the last couple of weeks, and the reason is because I’ve been scouring the world to find new and interesting tobaccos for my upcoming blends. Okay, that’s a lie. I don’t have to travel that much because I’m lucky enough to have people who let […]

My Cup Overflows

If you’re anything like me, you’re much happier when you’re busy. The day flies by, and you can really enjoy whatever you do for recreation and relaxation when the day is through. This job has always kept me hopping, but the last year has seen that increase immensely and I couldn’t be happier. Up until […]

Innovation

When I started working for PipesandCigars.com a little over ten years ago, I was asked to put together a few tobacco blends to see if people would want to buy them. The result was the beginning of our Hearth & Home line, which has grown far bigger than I would have ever expected. Many of […]

Part Rant, Part Announcement

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It’s been widely reported that earlier this year CVS Pharmacy caved in to the pressure by anti-smoking zealots and announced that they would stop selling all tobacco products by October 2014. The actually were ahead of schedule, having beaten their self-imposed deadline by a few weeks. They mentioned that they believed that tobacco doesn’t fit […]

Putting Things in Perspective

Things are really busy here at PipesandCigars.com. Thanks to you, our customers, we’re having a record-setting year, but along with sending out all those packages, we have to reorder, prepare catalogs, make deals for specials…well, you get the idea. In addition to all that, we’ll be bringing out more than 50 new products that we’ve […]