Smoker Friendly Expands North Carolina Presence

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BOULDER, Colo. — Smoker Friendly acquired MSMB Inc., a three-store chain in Hickory, N.C., growing its footprint in the East Coast state.

The transaction comes as MSMB's owners, Stewart and Mary Beth Ruehl, retire from the business. The owners were long-time Smoker Friendly dealers.

Smoker Friendly will retain the MSMB staff to operate the stores, according to the company.

"This was a great opportunity to acquire well-run stores that fit into our North Carolina footprint," said Dan Gallagher, chief operating officer of the Cigarette Store Corp., which does business as Smoker Friendly. "We wish Stewart and Mary Beth well in their retirement."

The MSMB deal follows on Smoker Friendly's acquisition of 22 Tobacco Road Outlet stores in North Carolina in February, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

Boulder-based Smoker Friendly operates 157 stores in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Missouri, Florida and North Carolina.  With the addition of MSMB stores, the company will have 160 stores in seven states with more than 800 employees.

Smoker Friendly also owns a private label tobacco line, and has an additional 710 licensee stores that participate in the SF Private Label program.