Last updated: October 10. 2013 3:29PM - 1761 Views
Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

Debarah White, owner of Elkin Discount Tobacco on North Bridge Street, rolls up her sleeves at her new business.
Debarah White, owner of Elkin Discount Tobacco on North Bridge Street, rolls up her sleeves at her new business.
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A new Elkin business owner is hoping to go up in smoke.

Debarah White of Mount Airy has opened Elkin Discount Tobacco located at 954 N. Bridge St.

The store sells a wide variety of name brand and alternative tobacco-based products.

White, who owned a tax preparation business in Mount Airy called Tax Plus, said she opened up Elkin Discount Tobacco because it was time for a change in her life.

“It’s a great change of pace for me. I had about 13 employees in the tax business. I averaged about 4,000 filings per year,” said White.

According to White, H&R Block stepped in and purchased the tax business.

“They knew I was the biggest competition. For years they kept asking me to sell. After a while though, I gave in. It just became too tough for me to manage the business and balancing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said.

“She’s great, and she’s the perfect person to come here with business,” said Angie Goad, a familiar front employee who commonly greets customers at the store. “I’m happy she’s here.”

“I’m looking forward to this new tobacco business,” said White. “As far as the store, we sell a ton of tobacco used for rolling. People seem to come in nowadays and buy bulk. They buy their own rolling paper and they can makes tons of them. We also sell e-cigarettes.”

Taking risk and having a strong work ethic is nothing new to Elkin’s new entrepreneur.

“I like to take chances. The independence I get and the strength I have is due to my upbringing. My family raised me to be strong, to believe,” said White. “I can’t ask for a better place. Elkin is great. Everybody is so friendly. I am so excited for the opportunity and the ability to meet so many new people.”

According to the merchant, running a business is not as easy as what people see.

“People may think that when they walk into the store that I hold inventory for a tobacco company. Not true. I have to buy all of these products up front,” she said.

Excise taxes are usually taxes on events, such as the purchase of a quantity of a particular item like gasoline, diesel fuel, liquor, wine, cigarettes, airline tickets, tires, trucks and more. These taxes are usually included in the price of the item — not listed separately like sales taxes usually are.

“Taxes have to be paid on everything you’re looking at,” said White.

In an effort to diversify, the store owner said that she also is selling e-cigarettes, a new and emerging type of liquid-based cigarettes.

“I see e-cigarettes as a growing market,” said White.

Store hours for Elkin Discount Tobacco are Monday through Friday from 9 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 ore agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.

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