The Briarville Story

"Find a Need And Fill It” is the hallmark of all successful businesses. Another hallmark is, “Turn A Problem Into An Advantage”. In late 2012 Ric Farrah, the founder of Briarville Tobacco Pipe Repair and Restoration, turned to both to create the industry leader in pipe repair.
First the problem. Farrah lost his corporate position as Director of Recruiting at a medium sized trucking company in Nashville, TN after the firm was sold. Seems the guy who bought the company had a nephew needing a job. Now without a gig Farrah turned to his roots over-the-road and signed on as a driver with a temp company serving the trucking industry. While deciding what to do next he vowed never again to put his career in another man’s hand. As the story unfolds, you’ll see a problem will often lead to an equal or greater advantage.
In the 80s and 90’s the tobacco pipe industry was in a state of flux. Hand rolled cigars were quickly gaining popularity. The corner brick and mortar pipe shops were disappearing or ceding valuable retail real estate to “sticks”. Where you could once easily visit your neighborhood shop for great conversation, supplies, and repairs, these social establishments were simply fast fading into a bygone era. The community which would gather locally at the table or in overstuffed chairs in their locals for a bowl of their favorite tobacco and swap lies were now congealing online - this time worldwide. The pipe industry was moving out of the brick and mortars to the Internet. The pipe enthusiasts didn’t go away. The retail tobacco shops just changed direction; ergo the need.
In the early to mid 2000s a sort tobacco pipe renaissance of sorts was taking shape on YouTube. The YouTube Tobacco Pipe Collectors channel was gaining subscribers and growing as pipe enthusiasts were showing off their collections and independent pipe carvers had an audience in which to show off their wares. One of those pipe carvers was Nashville broadcaster, television weatherman, and Farrah’s brother-in-law, Joe Case, a woodworking hobbyist that turned to pipe making. Over time, Joe Case Pipes began gaining popularity on the channel and the pipe smokers were gaining more comfort doing business online.
Farrah, a longtime pipe enthusiast and hobbyist needing a real job and Case looking for growth and increased credibility within the industry collaborated and decided for a short time to throw in together and add a repair side to Joe Case Pipes to test the water. The cross promotion proved very effective and both companies’ reach expanded. The need was there. Fewer and fewer shops were doing pipe repairs. Most of the shops still around were just sending off repairs to the few repair shops that served these dying brick and mortars. Farrah came up with Briarville’s trademark “Pipe Repair as Close as Your Mailbox” and hit the ‘Net doing YouTube videos himself, mostly a tad silly but nevertheless offering useful tips in DYI pipe maintenance as well as where to send their smokers needing more work. The concept took off beyond any expectations. The quality of work and customer service coupled with the ease of doing business led to Briarville’s exploding growth and popularity.
The second generation of Briarville began in 2019 when Farrah retired and sold the concern to Rich Messineo. Rich, a retired pharmacist, joined the company in 2016 and rose to the position of lead technician in three short years. Messineo graduated from Florida State University in 1987, finished his pharmacy degree at Florida A&M School of Pharmacy in 1990 and is no stranger to business. From 2003 - 2010 Messineo owned and operated Hungry Trout Cigars with three locations from Utah to Florida.
When Rich Messineo bought out Briarville he used his chemistry knowledge to create three aftermarket products now available to the public. The first product called “No Oxi Oil” was developed to keep vulcanite stems from oxidizing, a problem that plagued pipe smokers since the advent of vulcanite. The second product is the only real product out there to actually remove oxidation from vulcanite easily and effectively. The third product is a pipe cleaner and sweetener, the same that is used in the Briarville shop daily. Since purchasing Briarville, Messineo added a third profit center adding his own brand of cigars. Teaming up a national wholesaler, all Briarville products are now available online at TobaccoPipes.com.
As Briarville nears their 10th anniversary it safe to say that the once figment of Farrah’s imagination has grown to the leader of the industry. Briarville serves the global community with clients worldwide. There is no looking back. Expect Messineo to continue the exceptional growth and notoriety Briarville clients have enjoyed since the advent of Pipe Repair as Close as Your Mailbox TM
This piece is dedicated to the memory of Joe Case. His kindness and support was instrumental in developing Briarville Tobacco Pipe Repair and Restoration.
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