Owner, Stacy Hollenbeck, formerly Stacy Eckholm, was born and raised in Big Lake, MN, graduate of Big Lake High School class of 1992. In 2012, a lease with Riverwood Bank, former owner of the building, was signed and she opened the store Summer of 2013. Stacy is a tax accountant by trade and started her own tax and accounting practice in 2007 in Elk River, MN. She took the money she earned from the 2012 / 2013 tax season, saved enough to live off of, and opened the Big Lake Smoke Shop.
When I first opened the store there was a small office and enough room to have a counter with a wall of cigarettes behind, a small wall of tobacco, and only a couple of shelves in the middle to put tubes and other items on. When I was doing the research and finding distributors, I found no one would talk to me, no one would give me answers, and of course no bank would give me any startup money, so I was on my own. I knew it would work. I then rolled my own cigarettes and had to drive to surrounding towns to purchase my tobacco and tubes. I never felt comfortable going into those stores. If I didn’t feel comfortable, then there were other people out there that felt the same as me. I knew that my hometown Smoke Shop would be different and for the community.
We then added on and added on and added on. We added Lottery, U-Haul Rental, Pull Tabs, and Convenience Store items. We added E-cigs, another humidor for Cigars, and New in 2021 a separate Pipe Room.
I believe that putting the right employees in place played a major role for our success. With the right employees and loyal customers, we couldn't have done it without you. So... Thank You.... Big Lake and my wonderful staff for making the Big Lake Smoke Shop what it is today.
Stacy Hollenbeck - 2013 - (Owner and Founder)
Becki Glanz - 2013 (Becki's son and owner's son were friends in 4th grade)
Krystal Gleason - 2017 (Neighbor of Becki)
Taylor Amundson - 2019 (Rode bus with owner’s kids since 4th grade)
Abby Hollenbeck - 2020 (Owners Youngest Daughter)
Theresa Niewind - 2020 (The "young" ones hired her.. ie. Taylor and Abby off of Facebook at 1am.. )
Anthony Barfknecht - 2021 (Owners Middle Son)
Marcus Barfknecht - 2021 (Owners Oldest Son)
Will Uhrhammer - 2021 (Smoke Shop Loyal Customer's son)