Concise history of the Tobacco Cache of Alaska
The Cache as many call it, was formed by Bill Brown a retired insurance agent from San Diego California. Bill moved to Alaska and in 1972-73 started the first of 4 stores in Alaska as a hobby. Later in the years Robert (Bob) Mason a retired career USAF veteran joined with Bill as some of the outer stores were withdrawing. There was one store in the Diamond Mall, another in the Northway Mall, another in the Sears Mall and for a brief time a store downtown in Anchorage. Later in the late 70's and Early 80's, Bill had opened a store jointly in Fairbanks with Dave Shaw who would later pioneer Pipe & Pouch in Fairbanks Alaska from the Mid 80's to 2007. Bob Mason kept with the shop through the first bout of new taxes and as several stores shutdown until the single store remained on Northern Lights adjacent to the old Office Lounge. Many may remember George Baber another retired career USAF veteran who staffed the shop with Bob for decades. Between Bill-Bob-George, all of our legacy blends were created. In the early 2000's Bob Mason passed the shop onto a new partnership team who to this day maintains the recipes of Pete's Tobacco, Pipe & Pouch and the Legacy of Tobacco Cache. In 2011 operations were moved down the street. By our best account, the tradition continues for 50 years, but for good measure we say 47-years as of this writing. Besides we need a reason for celebration soon :)
The Cache Cigar Indian "Chief Charley of Chugiak"
A wood Indian carving and a common sight in turn of the century tobacco shops and general stores signifying good will and trade among people. This Statue dating from the late 1800's, was acquired in the 1970's from a very old tobacco shop in northern California. He was found by Bills son during travels and was purchased sight unseen and flown to Alaska. The name camera from a small event where customers children selected a name for the artwork. A legacy pipe tobacco blend still exists to this day that was made at the time. An aromatic blend (coffee notes) called Chief Charley. The wooden statue is currently on loan to the Cabinet Society Library here in Alaska and the second largest known in Alaska and second only to that of Dave Shaw's very large carving in Fairbanks.
Concise History of Pete's Tobacco Shop
Founded by Pete Switzer in the mid 90's during the first social cigar boom. It was located in mountain view Anchorage, behind the Apple Grocery store around the corner in a yellow storefront. Later in the late 90's early 2000's, Pete moved to 5th avenue in downtown anchorage. Pete passed away years later and his daughter continued with cigars and pipe tobacco for several years until the shop closed in approximately 2016. G&P purchased all the Pete's blends and history from Pete's daughter in 2016 to assure it would be preserved.
G& P Tobaccos continues to maintain the legacy of the founder, the shop and the amazing pipe tobacco blends developed by Pete and including his special blend, a variation of the Alaska Explorer Lt. Stoney's Blend at the Cache and the Stoney's variation at Pipe & Pouch.
To be continued
Concise History of Pipe & Pouch of Fairbanks / Dave Shaw
Formed by Bill Brown of Tobacco Cache along with Fairbanks Dave Shaw in the late 70's. Dave was an ironworker from original pipeline construction and enjoyed the hobby of pipes and cigars. After some time, the store changed from Tobacco Cache to Pipe & Pouch Tobacco Shop. Often claiming the northern most tobacco shop in this hemisphere (US and Canda). the mall was to be closed and demolished in 2008 and thus the store closed permanently. G& P Tobaccos continues to preserve and maintain the legacy of the found, the shop and the amazing pipe tobacco blend recipes.
To be continued