The History of Monjure International
in the words of Steve Monjure himself
"I remember sitting in a huge wooden chair with a pipe in my mouth and a leather briefcase by my side as I shuffled the stack of papers on top the desk. It was 1960 and I was in my grandfather's study near the shore of Lake Pontchatrain in New Orleans. I was six years old then and this was the start of my fascination with 'the pipe'. I would often play business for hours as I handled his Dr. Grabow pipes and smelled his tin of Granger tobacco. I knew then that I would someday smoke a pipe.
"I first began smoking a pipe at the age of sixteen. Naturally, my parents were concerned, but they knew that many of my friends smoked cigarettes. Soon they accepted my pipe smoking as they also knew that my mind was made up. My first pipe was of course, a Dr. Grabow - a billiard with a saddle mouthpiece that I purchased from Walgreen's. My first bowl of tobacco was Flying Dutchman and I soon began experimenting with other brands of pipes and tobaccos. I remember riding my motorcycle after school to see Mr. Edwin Jansen at the "Ye Olde Pipe Shop" in the French Quarter. He was a wealth of information and I would hang out in the shop for hours speaking to him about pipes and sampling his tobacco blends. He had an aromatic blend called TC-1, a toasted cavendish, that at the time was my favorite. The aroma of this tobacco was loved by all and it was a very cool and dry smoke. Mr. Jansen introduced me to pipes made by GBD, Brebbia, Lorenzo, Savinelli, Comoy, and others. He also stocked an assortment of "house brand" pipes in natural finishes.
"In 1976, after graduating from college, I was hired by a consumer goods company, but for over twenty years my travels would take me all over the country. I would always find time to visit the pipe and tobacco shops in the city where I was at the time. It was during these trips that I first developed the urge to be in the business in some capacity.
"In 1995, while traveling to South Carolina, I visited Boda Pipes in Greenville. It was there that I saw my first Ardor pipe. It was a full bent Guarino in the Meteora finish. I purchased the pipe and smoked it during my drive back to North Carolina. I loved this pipe and could not wait to get another one. I purchased three more during the next few months and then I could not find anymore. After a brief period of panic, I sent a letter to Ardor in Italy to inquire about buying pipes direct. They responded and in 1996, I purchased several more Ardor pipes. I ordered more pipes during the year and then decided that with the cigar boom in place, it was time to move forward.
"In 1997, I placed my first production order with Ardor. I received 100 pipes and after visiting numerous shops and receiving very positive responses, I decided to attend my first pipe show in May of 1997. It was the Deep South Classic in Charlotte. I was fortunate to have tables next to Anthony Spera, who told me that the Ardor pipes were some of the best smoking pipes in the world. The response at the show was incredible and I knew that I had found my calling.
"In July of 1997, I met with Luciano Buzzi, administrator of Pipe Brebbia, at the RTDA show in Orlando to discuss the distribution of Brebbia pipes in the USA. I was very familiar with Brebbia pipes and had several in my collection. After reviewing the entire line, we reached an agreement and in September 1 received my first production order of Brebbia pipes.
"In October of 1998, I purchased my first Rinaldo pipe from a good friend, Don Seatter, at the C.O.R.P.S. pipe show in Richmond. Don had been to Italy and purchased this pipe while on vacation. I smoked this pipe on the way home and knew after the first bowl that it was a very special pipe. I contacted Rinaldo and reaching an agreement, I placed my first production order in December.
"In July of 1999, I met Rudiger L. Will of R.L. Will Fine Tobacco Products at the RTDA show in Las Vegas. There we discussed the distribution of his Reiner pipes and Reiner and Solani tobaccos. We both agreed and soon after I received my initial order of Reiner Pipes and tobaccos.
"We at Monjure International USA thank you for your support. We hope you will enjoy the site and frequent it often. Please let us know if we can be of assistance."
Founder, Monjure International
Return to the Home Page