ST. CLAIRSVILLE - At Bob's Cheap Smokes, a customer's cigarettes are rolled on the premises with an on-site machine that manufactures the tobacco product.
"It's a roll-your-own," said Robert Grimmett of Bridgeport, owner, adding that the business includes a Ryo Filling Station machine which can recreate the type of cigarette used by many brands. "We can match up just about anything anybody smokes."
He noted that a typical carton of 200 cigarettes can be produced in eight minutes. All cartons are sold at a flat rate of $23.99. His cigarettes weigh the standard 1.0-1.3 grams. The machine can roll regular, light or menthol cigarettes.
T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK
Robert Grimmett, owner of Bob’s Cheap Smokes, offers quality and affordable cigarettes made on site for the customer.
"Nothing is pre-packaged," he said, adding that the machine is equipped with seven sensors. "There's no way you can get a bad cigarette."
Grimmett uses Kentucky Select tobacco. There are no added chemicals beyond what the farmers use. This, and the quality cigarette paper, give the products a smooth flavor.
He said he got the idea to establish a homemade cigarette shop from his nephew, who attempted the venture in Columbus. However, there were too many such establishments in town. Grimmett noted that his is the only such shop in Belmont County.
Grimmett said business was still new to the county, so he has been explaining the process and advantages of his homemade cigarettes to potential customers.
"It's a new thing. You have to explain it to the customers," he said. "Once they try the cigarette, a good 90 percent come back because it's a good tasting, smooth tasting cigarette."
"It's a good business to be into," he said.
Bob's Cheap Smokes is located at 51710 National Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The number is (740) 359-8726.
DeFrank can be reached online at rdefrank@ timesleaderonline.com.