New businesses are popping up all over LaRue County, including a new smoke shop/convenience store in Hodgenville.
Owner Bob Patel has been in the United States for the last 15 years. He began at the bottom of the totem pole, gaining experience and working his way up through management.
“My first job was [at] Dunkin’ Donuts. My second job, Domino’s Pizza delivery,” Patel said. “After, I started at a small mom-and-pop store for one year. After, I worked in a college town.”
Located in Kentucky since 2013, Patel most recently worked at a gas station in Lancaster, Ky for five and a half years. During his time, he worked diligently to ensure he learned as much as he could, giving him the opportunity to be successful in his own future business adventures.
“If you have good experience, it’s good for that business because without knowledge, you cannot open the business, and whatever investment you make [turns] to zero,” he said.
Patel came to the local area looking for work, saw a need and an open storefront, and decided to set up shop. Hodgenville Tobacco and More, located at 72 Shawnee Drive, Hodgenville, offers consumers a wide range of options. For those over the age of 21, available items include lottery tickets, cigarettes, tobacco, vapes, e-juice, Kratom, CBD, Delta-8 and more.
Although he may look like a smoke shop, Patel hopes to cater to everyone. In addition to his adult inventory, he also has an ATM and sells candy, soda, energy drinks, bagged ice and other snack-like foods. Currently, he is in the process of setting up a propane exchange and money orders.
Patel also plans to utilize coupons at his location. Although he currently only offers deals such as buy one get one 50% off, he said other deals may be in the future.
Hodgenville Tobacco and More will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, with shortened hours on Sundays. For questions or more information, call 859-358-0039.