1911 MacDonough Building 1
M.A. Gunst on corner

M.A. Gunst and Company was a cigar distributor and chain of cigar stores on the West Coast, run by Moses "Mose" A. Gunst. While Gunst lived in San Francisco, there were a number of M.A. Gunst stores in Oakland, most notably in the MacDonough Building at 14th and Broadway.

excerpt of 1912 photo
courtesy Tim Sanchez

Gunst's main competitor was United Company Cigars. A 1913 article says United had 1,240 stores across the country; Gunst had 672 stores, mostly on the West Coast. 2 United pulled a fast one and leased Gunst's coveted 14th and Broadway location, but Gunst regained control of the location in 1912. 3 So it was less surprising when the two companies merged in 1913. 2 This excerpt from a c.1912 photo shows the both Gunst and United at the corner. The combined company later merged with General Cigar Company. 4

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Links and References

  1. Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room and Maps Division
  2. Theater Building Corner Is Leased Oakland Tribune June 16, 1912
  3. Big Cigar Dealers Form $25,000,000 Corporation Oakland Tribune February 12, 1913
  4. Moses A. Gunst Is Dead Today Oakland Tribune June 23, 1928