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4-letter word window display causes controversy in Hendersonville

The owners of a new cigar shop in downtown Hendersonville received some criticism after placing products with controversial labels in their front window. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The owners of a new cigar shop in downtown Hendersonville received some criticism after placing products with controversial labels in their front window.

Merit Wolff, who owns Wine Sage and Gourmet, said the products in the Gustavo Cigars window display — a bag and spice bottles featuring a four-letter word — do not belong in a window just a few doors from a toy store.

"Just change their window display,” Wolff said. “I mean, that's really simple."

The cigar store opened in summer 2017, and the owners eventually put up a display with a white bag and spice bottles with the s-word on them — like a bottle that starts with the word “bull.”

"I don't think it's the image we're trying to portray in Hendersonville,” Wolff said. “I have been concerned about it, but I also don't wish any of my fellow merchants any ill. I want everybody to succeed. If we all succeed, then it's better for the community."

One of the owners of the cigar shop, Chanel Amezquita, said they are already succeeding.

“My husband had to go four hours, two days before Christmas to get more, that's how much demand there was for it,” Amezquita said.

The demand started at their first store — still open — in St. Augustine, Florida.

"People come in laughing, and they love it," Amezquita said.

Patricia Batchelor, a passerby in front of their Hendersonville store, said the display did not bother her.

"I think it's funny. It's not something that people should get mad about," Batchelor said.

Wolff said she was not mad.

"At first, I laughed,” Wolff said, “because all it was was a bottle of spices. But, then it got to be a lot of other stuff."

She just thinks that "stuff" would be better suited for somewhere like St. Augustine.

"It's more like something you might see at the beach," Wolff said.

But, it's something you might continue to see in downtown Hendersonville.

"I don't see that I'm offending anyone whatsoever, and I won't be taking it out of the window anytime soon," Amezquita said.

Hendersonville police said they received complaints about the advertising, but did not talk to the owners of the cigar shop because they were not breaking any laws.

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