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Van Dalen opens a shop in Groningen. The largest city in the northern part of The Netherlands is without a specialized tobacco shop since Davidoff closed its shops in The Netherlands. Years before, Davidoff acquired Homan Sigaren, the most renowned tobacconist in the north. The only competitor, a small tobacconist at the famous A-Kerkhof closed its doors around the same time.

But that is going to change. Rinse van Gans, a 51-year-old cigar enthusiast is starting a tobacco store. Van Gans realizes he lives in a premium cigars wasteland. And the demand is there. Groningen is one of the largest student cities in the country. So he did his homework and with the help of Sasja van Horssen of Longfiller Company & Van Dalen Cigars, he is opening a store.

Ministry of Cigars - Van Dalen opens a shop in Groningen
artist rendering of the shop

Van Dalen

Although Van Gans is the owner of the store, the name will be Van Dalen Cigars. That name belongs to Sasja van Horssen who runs 4 stores under that name. One in Rotterdam, Den Bosch, Dordrecht, and Amsterdam. Van Horssen always had the intention to franchise the concept and Van Gans will be the first franchisee.  But since this is the first step of Van Gans in retail and tobacco, he will receive plenty of help and guidance by Van Horssen.

The focus is new world cigars, as those are the cigars Van Gans enjoys himself. Yet Cuban cigars are not ignored. Pipes and pipe tobacco are also sold. Even though Van Gans initially didn’t want to sell cigarettes, he will. The new legislation that prohibits supermarkets to sell cigarettes from 2024 may present an opportunity to provide extra turnover. It is most likely going to compensate for the lack of having a webshop, which is not allowed from 2023. In a conversation with Ministry of Cigars Van Gans made it clear, no vape and no hookah.

The shop

Van Gans is planning to open March 1st on Waagstraat 7, right in the center of Groningen. The location unfortunately doesn’t offer the opportunity for a lounge. But with the current government, a prohibition of cigar lounges is looming anyway. There are plenty of bars with large outdoor terraces to enjoy a cigar.

The shop will be open 6 days a week. The humidor is going to be around 20 square meters. Van Gans is planning to offer cigar pairings to the many student societies in Groningen. It’s good to see a new tobacconist open after all the shops calling it quits in the recent few years. We wish Van Gans a very successful endeavor and hope to visit Van Dalen Groningen the next time we are in Europe.

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