The original business Shave & Coster was started in the late 1800’s by Maurice Shave in the market town of Newbury, and although over the years it had several owners, it continued to trade as M. Shave (Tobacconist).

website owners_team_members
Paul Gilmour


In 1991 when it was about to close down it was purchased by the current owners Paul and Karen Gilmour who set about revamping the shop, and trade began to flourish again.



website owners_team_members
Karen Gilmour


Ever since Paul and Karen came into the tobacco trade they had a special person who they could call on for help and advice, Alan Coster of Coster & Son Ltd, Marlow, Bucks. Alan’s Grandfather started the business over 100 years ago, and when at the age of 76, Alan closed his doors for the last time.


At a time when Specialist Tobacconists were on the decline it was a shame to see the Coster name disappear from the trade, so Paul & Karen as a tribute to Alan incorporated the Coster name into their business, thus becoming (Shave & Coster)

Shave & Coster is a family run business for as well as Paul & Karen, their son James has worked in the shop full time for 11 years and part time before that. James is now the manager of the Reading shop.

Then three years ago the Lewis Darby shop was about to close in Cardiff, which would have meant there was no specialist shop left in Wales, so this shop was taken over in an effort to save it from closure. Over the next three years business has boomed and it is again a busy shop, but due to the workload it was sold to another Specialist Tobacconist in mid 2010. Much of the success in Cardiff is due to the hard work by Don & Trisha Higgins, who have managed the shop for many years.

Over the years Reading has won all 3 of the major awards in the industry, first was the Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders Retailer of the Year Award in 2000. Then in 2005 they won the Perterson Of Dublin Retailer of the Year Award. The hat trick was complete in 2009 with the winning of the Silver Chaveta, Havana Cigar Retailer of the Year


The Company motto of “The customer always comes first” still stands as it always has, without the customers you have nothing states Paul