August 3, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
SC Tobacco has come to Sauk Centre, filling the former Moonshine Shoppe building at 1161 Highway 71. The owner, Tuyetmai Ngo, is eager to help their customers while also learning more about the business in order to improve the experience they offer.
“This is my first tobacco business,” Ngo said. “I still have a lot of things to learn.”
Previously, Ngo owned the Chinese Dragon in Detroit Lakes and was in the restaurant business for 40 years. As she is getting into her mid-60s, she wanted to find a less demanding line of work.
“With the restaurant, you have to be on your feet 10 or 12 hours a day,” Ngo said. “It was a lot of work, so I planned to try a new tobacco business to see if it’s easier for me.”
Ngo did not have experience in the tobacco industry, but her brother had a tobacco store near her restaurant, and Ngo saw how his business did not need as much staffing or hours. She wanted to give it a try, and so, with assistance from her brothers, she set up in the former Moonshine Shoppe building.
SC Tobacco offers all kinds of tobacco products, including cigars, pipes, cigarettes, chews and accessories, such as glass.
They also have candy, air fresheners, knickknacks and more. With the recent legalization of cannabinoids in the state, SC Tobacco also offers some products that contain up to 0.5 milligrams of THC.
As she is new to the business, Ngo is hopeful SC Tobacco does well in the long run, and they are open to customer suggestions as to how they can improve their experience.
SC Tobacco held its grand opening July 14, and so far, Ngo is glad to have received such a positive response from the community. She also likes how their business is located close to the interstate and how that brings in an even wider range of customers.
“We see (Sauk Centre) growing, and it’s near the highway,” Ngo said. “It’s a good-looking location too, so it brings a lot of attention, and we draw a lot of tourists.”