Food stores

Jacksons Food Stores Owner To Buy Tobacco Connection, Big Smoke

The owners of Jacksons Food Stores appear poised to add dozens of new stores to their control.

Last month, Meridian’s Jackson BevCo filed suspected business names with the state of Idaho for Big Smoke and Tobacco Connection.

Jackson BevCo lists the same address in Boise as HFO, LLC – the controlling entity of Big Smoke and Tobacco Connection. The company lists Jackson president and founder John D. Jackson, his sister Andrea Jackson and Tasha Walker as managers. Andrea Jackson is registered as president of Tobacco Beverage Company while Walker lists himself as CFO.

[Jacksons will grow number of stores through deal with 7-Eleven]

Growing chain of stores

the the chain dates from 1994, when Keith Weeks opened the first Tobacco Connection store in Nampa in 1994. Separately, siblings Hal and Dixie Baird opened Big Smoke in Caldwell in 1997. After 15 years of growth and competition, the two chains merged under the official name “HFO”, for “Frozen Hell.” The stores are now spread across Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah.

Big Smoke and Tobacco Connection locations differ from Jacksons Food Stores and ExtraMile stores in several key ways. Only adults are allowed inside, and the selection centers mainly on the Vice’s products – including beer and cigarettes. Specialty convenience stores also don’t carry gasoline, although many operate out of old gas station sites.

[Idaho AG, local gas stations reach settlement. It could save you at the pump]

We were hoping to learn from the folks at Jackson what the future plans might be for Tobacco Connection and Big Smoke, as well as what customers might see, if any, of the rebranding.

A spokesperson for Jacksons Food Stores declined to comment or answer our specific questions. However, the spokesperson clarified that there were 64 stores in the Big Smoke / Tobacco Connection chain.

The Jackson family owns a collection of businesses, including Jackson Jet Center, Jackson Energy, Jacksons Food Stores, Capitol Distributing, and ExtraMile, a joint venture with Chevron. John Jackson launched his first Texaco convenience store in Caldwell in 1975, which now has over 325 stores.