Tobacco Leaf Glass Gallery, also known as TLeaf, is known today for their selection of high-end glass art, onsite glass blowing, excellent customer service and extensive online marketplace. The shop supplies customers with everything they need to satisfy their smoking needs. Customers come to take classes, meet artists, browse custom glass and get lost in the dreamy atmosphere. Founded in 2009, Tobacco Leaf originally opened in a small location in Tallahassee, Florida. Over the years the shop has gained a loyal customer base and seen nonstop growth. The Tobacco Leaf team works hard to surpass customer expectations and raise the standards for smoke shops everywhere. Their passion for the industry and the customers they serve has not gone unnoticed.
“After graduating from Florida State University with an art degree, I found myself trying to figure out a way to use the knowledge and skills I learned in school to create a sustainable business. I thought back to the time I learned about glass art and how that connected to the glass products of the smoke industry. I saw an opportunity for a shop in Tallahassee and began to look into what it would take,” begins Gabriel Suarez, Owner and Creator of Tobacco Leaf Glass Gallery.
At the time Gabriel was thinking of starting a shop, there were not any smoke shops near the capital of Florida. For nearly ten years, there was unofficial information that was absorbed as truth by the community that there was a city ordinance banning smoke shops from the capital. Upon graduation, Gabriel noticed a smoke shop pop up and discovered no such ordinance existed after just a little research. So after nearly a decade of no smoke shops in the area, Gabriel opened a small smoke shop in Tallahassee.
“I started really small in a location I got after borrowing some money from a few friends, and the business has been growing ever since,” he adds.
After a few years of success, Gabriel was able to move his business to a much larger location – which is the location Tobacco Leaf Glass Gallery customers know today.
“Our current location is much bigger than our original spot. Our location now has an entire smoke shop in it, a separate gallery space, a vape shop, two different glass blowing studios – a small one for demos and a larger one for teaching classes. We only have one location, but we have put a lot into it to make it what it is today,” explains Gabriel.
TLeaf Glass Gallery is a spot like no other. It continues to amaze regular customers and draw in new ones each day. When customers walk through the doors they will quickly notice that this smoke shop is unlike any they’ve ever seen. With a specialty boutique feel, the shop breaks down the barriers between products and customers.
“We offer a sophisticated and professional atmosphere. We present everything in displays out in the open that can be walked around. We don’t hide all of our products in glass cases behind a counter like many other smoke shops do, only the high-end pieces are in the gallery behind glass. We want our customers to be able to interact with the products we carry; therefore, we designed the shop without a dividing counter between customers and employees. Our staff works on the same side as our guests with a layout similar to an Apple Store, which makes for a more relaxed and laid-back experience for anyone that comes in and allows our customers to get up close and personal with products. We also communicate actively on our Instagram and other social media outlets. Customers have even created our own #tleafcrew,” says Gabriel.
In addition to the interactive store layout, the Tallahassee smoke shop keeps customers engaged with an onsite glass blowing studio with demos throughout the day and classes throughout the week.
“We offer glass blowing classes in the shop which allows us to meet some really cool artists whose work we carry. We bring in some of the world’s best glass blowers on a regular basis such as Joe Peters, Eucheen, Coyle, Peter Muller, Mike Roman, Vela G, Sizelove, Ryno, CHA and more. People will fly in from all over the world to take our classes which gives us such a great connection to the glassblowing community,” Gabriel explains.
TLeaf offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced flameworking classes. Experience is not required for the beginning classes. Classes aim to familiarize and equip those who sign up with the skills and tools needed for becoming their very own glassblower. Those who take the classes get to not only learn skills and techniques, but also get to keep what they make. Classes are taught by established local artist Colten Hood (IG:ColtenHoodGlass) daily and specialty classes are held monthly and are taught by recognizable glassblowing artists.
“Our studios are divided from our store floor by large glass windows so customers who come into the shop to pick something up can watch the classes and demos right from the store floor. Glass blowing is one of those things that truly captivates everyone who watches. It’s fun to see new customers in awe of someone taking a class. Having the studio is a big attraction for our shop,” he explains.
When it comes to shop atmosphere, there is no question that Tobacco Leaf Glass Gallery stands out above the rest. Gabriel and his team work hard to create a space that is modern, clean, fun, exciting, and always improving. The passion Gabriel has for the industry shines through in his shop – he has truly set the bar high.
When customers walk in the shop Gabriel wants their visit to be more than just stopping in, he wants it to be an experience. By creating a unique space for customers to shop and guaranteeing high end customer service, he does just that.
“Our service is unmatched by any other establishment. TLeaf has been operated by smokers for smokers since day one. We love getting to be a part of this growing industry and exceed our customers’ expectations for what a smoke shop can be.” says Gabriel.
With Gabriel leading the way, Tobacco Leaf Glass Gallery has had nonstop growth since they first opened their doors in 2009. Armed with a vision for what a smoke shop should look like and a knowledgeable team of employees, Gabriel has made a name for himself in a crowded industry. By offering a unique atmosphere for customers to shop for quality products at fair prices, the Florida shop shattered the mold for what a smoke shop is supposed to look like and created something no one will ever forget. SVBS