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