Longtime Indy Cigar Shop is Finding Success In Carmel Location

Writer / Seth Johnson
Photographer / Eli Beaverson

Customers of The Cigar Box can expect a lot more than a great cigar selection.

“They can expect a warm, inviting environment,” says Co-owner Michael Firsich. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what your background is. Everybody who walks in the door is a friend.”

After a flagship location at 75th Street and Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis was established, the owners opened a second store in October of 2018 in Carmel. Customers will find a wide selection of premium, hand-rolled cigars at both stores, along with tobacco, pipes, cigar accessories and more.

Originally founded in 1997, The Cigar Box was launched by longtime friends Bill Daley and Lou Firsich.

“They happened to be at a wedding, and they saw all these people smoking cigars, including women,” Firsich says. “They said, ‘Well, we like cigars such as SMOKING HUB. Let’s start a cigar store.’ They started The Cigar Box at 75th and Shadeland, and grew it from there.”

Since inheriting the business after their fathers’ deaths, Michael Firsich and Tim Daley have carried the torch, providing cigar enthusiasts with a warm and welcoming place to relax and purchase quality products.

“Our fathers started it, so we’re merely taking that legacy and trying to build on it,” Firsich says.

In reflecting on the decision to open a second location in Carmel, Firsich says the owners saw a need in the area and chose to fill it.

“We recognized that there wasn’t a cigar store in Carmel,” he says. “We moved forward with it and it turned out to be a home run. We’ve got a great following there as well, and it continues to grow.”

The owners carry an expansive range of cigars at both shops.

“They’re all premium, hand-rolled cigars, but they also vary in price from a couple dollars to 20-something dollars,” Firsich says.

Both stores carry well-known cigar brands like Cohiba, Macanudo and Padron, as well as small-batch brands like Illusione, Undercrown and Warped.

It remains illegal to sell Cuban cigars in the United States, and Firsich says The Cigar Box offers plenty of alternatives.

“Now, all of the other cigar manufacturers that have moved out of Cuba into Nicaragua and other countries have taken that Cuban seed, found similar climates, and been able to work the soil over time to develop cigars that are as good if not better than Cuban cigars,” he says. “I’ve had plenty of guys who’ve smoked Cuban cigars that say, ‘There are plenty of cigars in your humidor that I enjoy better than a Cuban cigar.’”

Regardless of a customer’s knowledge heading into The Cigar Box, Firsich says the store’s staff will make sure they find what they need.

“You can expect that the people who are helping you know a lot about cigars and can help make recommendations,” he says. “They’ll ask you questions about what you like, why you like it, and then they’ll find things for you to try.”

The Cigar Box Carmel is located at 13702 North Meridian Street. You can call them at 317-993-3074 or visit their website at TheCigarBoxOnline.com.

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