A business of friends

Четверг, 11 Августа 2011



A few weeks have past since the uplifting IPCPR show in Las Vegas and I’m back home in the cigar factory, looking into the production, testing new cigar blends and basically catching up with the day by day issues of the factory, this is what I do for the most part of the year, so attending a cigar show is like a breath of fresh air.


An important aspect of the cigar show is that you get the feedback from the industry on the cigars that you are making. Of course taste is a subjective issue so the information you get could be some what vast and diverse as everyone has an opinion.  The cigar industry is filled with interesting people, some big egos, diverse fashion styles and last but not least, very knowledgeable traditional tobacco entrepreneurs. Quite a mix crowd but what I can assure you is that 99 % of the people in the cigar industry are genuine good people and fun to be with.  In this business the word given is as good or better than any written contract, it is still a very personal way of doing our work.




Tobacco people are spread all over the world, yet we are a very small group as everyone knows each other. They say that no matter where in the world you go you can find 3 things: Marlboro cigarettes, Coca Cola and a Dutchman (who is most likely involved in tobacco). You can tell a true- traditional tobacco man by what he expresses: “During the day time a traditional tobacco man will be working in the factory and constantly talking about women and sports then later  at night , when out from work , he’ll talk about tobacco”.


The cigar industry is very artisan and traditional, where the human touch has a strong input on the final product. I strongly believe that a great cigar is the result of the capacity of the people who make it and the tobacco used in it, of course this assures the quality on the cigar not the commercial success, for that you need good marketing a strong distribution and some luck.


We must feel lucky to be in this business, it is still hard work but different than any other. From a factory point of view our competitors are the restricting laws and the outrageous taxes not so much the other factories, as the market is now big enough for everyone. This fact should unite us all (manufacturers and consumers) to stand for our right to enjoy great cigars, to try new cigars and to feel free to smoke them.  A good cigar is a silent friend, a companion and smoking among friends is to be relaxed, to enjoy the moment, to share ideas, to feel good, to be classy and somewhat different than the rest, you are part of a group but a very distinct group, cigar shops have even created lounges just for us and our friends, a place where we belong. We can even dress up for the occasion. In what other consumption product was there a garment created solely for the purpose of its social consumption, like the Smoking Jacket.  Now that is class, no other product has that.