Our family run tobacconist established in 1989 in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
1980's - It's a Family Business
Back in the ’80s my parents Paul and Christine ran a newsagent in Cookridge, it’s where it all began.
After school, I’d sit on’t countertop where I would be in charge of the till, pressing buttons and talking to customers.
My payment would be choosing a selection of sweets and taking them upstairs, where we lived.
2000's - Nailing Business Early
Before the days of Smoke-King I loved nails, qualifying and working at Leeds Bradford Airport manicure lounge. At 21 I opened my first business, a nail bar in the small suburb of Horsforth, Leeds.
The business was a success, and I quickly realised I was working hard for little reward. I sold the business a few years later.
2008 - Greens of Leeds
Dad was busy running Greens of Leeds, a quintessential tobacconist in Leeds city centre. Dad was ahead of the curve and asked me to tackle the huge task of going online. I said, “I’ll give it a go” and swapped nail polish for programming!
In 2009 I attended a cigar school run by Hunters and Frankau, the UK's leading independent cigar importer. My favourite experience was rolling my very own cigar, and all these years later, it’s still in Dad’s humidor looking and feeling as good as the day I made it.
2010 - Going Online (10 December)
After a year of hard work learning and building our first website, Smoke-King was ready to launch! It was nowhere near ready, but Dad had paid my wage for almost a year without a return.
The first product we sold was a Chacom Carbon Clair Briar Pipe. This was so easy I thought until I needed to get to grips with a returns policy, as this pipe suffered a burnout.
Our online sales took pace quickly as we doubled our sales each month, dispatching worldwide.
2019 - My Love of Pipe Smoking
I love pipe smoking! At first, I thought pipe smoking was for someone older. The first pipe I bought was a Chacom Opera and my favourite pipe is my Nording compass.
I recently connected with Chris Morgan based in the US, California. He is best known for his Morgan "bones pipes" along with the amazing patented ‘briar cigar pipe'.
We were extremely pleased when Chris offered Smoke-King for UK distribution.
March 2020 - When Things Changed
On 22nd March 2020, the country braced itself for a country-wide lockdown. Like everyone, we had no idea what was going to happen or what it meant for us. On the morning of 23rd March 2020, we heard the chilling announcement “The UK is to enter a full lockdown to protect against the COVID 19 pandemic.”
Within minutes, hundreds of orders flooded into our website. Within hours we had received over 1,500 orders, more than our small team was prepared for.
Should we turn the website off? Was one of the thoughts shared by the team. We devised a plan to protect our team and split jobs by having the entire team working from home.
Overnight we assembled two new customer services teams, and three packing teams to keep on top of the orders that came flooding in to our website.
Our newly formed customer services team took almost 1,000 calls in a week - just a few more than we were used to!
Keeping Up With Demand
As demand for tins of tobacco surged I had to do an emergency trip to pickup more stock.
Our Little Helpers
Luckily, Jake was ready to help package up our parcels as quick as we could pick them!
Mum's and Dad's Hallway
Mum and Dad worked from home picking and packing orders. What a fab job, thanks Mum!
August 2020 - Introducing Our New HQ!
On 23 August we completed a move to our new HQ in Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire. It took over a year in the planning, design and build. Things did take longer than we planned because of the restrictions in the pandemic.
A Warehouse Without a Roof
We found Otley Mills when looking for a new HQ for our growing team, we love the location and character.
With me and mum packing orders daily the builders set to work building our custom warehouse.
Despite the delays that Covid caused, we kept pushing on to finish the warehouse build.
Late Nights and Paintbrushes
With summer rapidly coming we spent every evening and weekend painting and preparing to move.
A Long Day Moving
With less than 24 hours, it was all hands on deck as we unpacked the warehouse ready for business.
The Finishing Touches
No warehouse could be complete without a custom slide for the kids (and the adults!)
Welcoming Barber & Bennett
Independent wine and spirits merchant, Barber & Bennett joins the Green family. A fantastic choice of quality and independent wines and spirits for next day delivery.
October 2020 - Hello Click & Collect
Lockdown #2 was upon us, and while delivery services were struggling under the pressure - we launched our new Click & Collect service from our warehouse in Otley, West Yorkshire.
May 2021 - 10,000+ Reviews
Celebrating 10,000 reviews! A score of a whopping 4.9 out of 5, now rated #1 for Tobacco Shops and #1 Cigar Shops on Trustpilot.
See our Trustpilot reviews >
August 2021 - Unveiling our Physical Store
For over twenty years, Greens of Leeds was the trusted tobacconist in Leeds city centre. We’re dead proud to unveil our new showroom - home of our quintessential cigars, and our new sister company, Barber & Bennett - The wine and spirits merchant.
Our First Store Opening
We've worked hard to turn our location in Otley, Leeds into a shopping destination. Your choice of the finest cigars, tobacco with wine and spirits.
Visit us in Otley, Leeds
Our brand new showroom has a fantastic choice of drinks and smokes. Grab directions and Pop in and visit us.
Visit Our Humidor
Our humidor is full of cigars for every occasion. Visit us in store and find some exclusives not on our website! View our 3D Tour.
May 2022 - A Brand New Look!
We’ve spent years fighting off competition and pop-up tobacconists that have ripped our photos and logo! After months of hard work from the team, we’re so excited to unveil our brand new logo and branding! The same Smoke-King family, but with a brand new look.
Smoke-King 2022 Logo
We're chuffed to show-off our brand new logo. Don't worry, everything else is the same!
Demanded by Our Customers
We know our customers love our complimentary chocolate with their order. Check out our new crown!
Enjoying a Brew
After all the hard this year, the team are enjoying a proper brew. (Mine is Yorkshire Tea - Obviously!)