I first saw the name Old Oak a number of years ago while reading David McCullough’s book, John Adams. In letters that Abigail, John’s wife, wrote she referred to John as an Old Oak, steadfast, immovable, seasoned, and wise.
This stuck with me and made an impression. I felt an “Old Oak” was something worth striving to become in my later years. Lord willing, I wanted to grow wise, strong, silently standing on solid ground, planted exactly where God wanted me, living a life that didn’t need any pomp and circumstance or accolades. I wanted, and still want, to be someone who doesn’t need the praise and tribute of others to be who I am, to be who God wants me to be. I just want to be there, here, doing what God made me to do, being what He made me to be.
Fast forward to early 2021. Kate and I started discussing the idea of rebranding the business, and what the new name would be. We wanted to put our signature on things. The name Old Oak came rushing back. It just felt perfect. It stirred up memories of my late dad, and my now father-in-law. It feels timeless, natural, and rustic.
So, what does Old Oak mean for the shop? What does it mean for our business, the products we retail, and the environment and services we provide? What does Old Oak mean for you, our customers?
Well, to begin, our story didn’t start with Old Oak. And, if we look beyond the business, it didn’t even start with William Alexander Tobacconist, or the purchase of City Place Cigar. It’s been a story that’s written itself on our hearts, minds, and our souls for a long time now. It’s the values, faith, and experiences that are the fabric of who we are. Old Oak is this idea that we are all part of a bigger story than just ourselves. We’re part of a community. And as a community, we all have an impact in each others’ lives, however small or substantial, and whether we realize ir or not.
With that in mind, what can we do that not only impacts our community for good, in our time, but what are we doing that will have lasting, positive effects on those that might be part of this community after we’re gone? What value can we each bring to the collective table that will outlive us and begin or carry on a legacy of love, kindness, respect, compassion, joy, wisdom, and faith?
These questions are at the heart of what we hope to embark on with Old Oak. We’ve owned a cigar shop and lounge for over 5 years now. Our goal has been to create and foster an environment that is kind and welcoming to all who enter. We want to see people connect and build relationships in our place. We’ve been fortunate to have witnessed much of that already. We hope to leave the world around us at least just a little better than when we found it. And we pray that everyone who spends even a little time at the shop will feel that, resonate with it, and take it with them wherever they go.
Old Oak is about Legacy. It’s about people more than products. It’s about stories more than sales. It’s about human connection, and leaving a mark that points to something bigger than ourselves.