Every Independent cigar broker usually diversifies. We all carry cigars of course. But others carry lighters, humidors (I rep one of the best by Daniel Marshall), e-cigs, the liquids that go with ’em. All kinds of stuff.
Me? Besides the humidors, I carry tobacco pipes. Briar. Greek. Italian. Bent and straight, Access to a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and finishes. I’m looking into pipes made from other woods. But I found over the years that you gotta change it up. Next for me is pipe tobacco. What kind, don’t know yet. But whatever brand it is, it’s going to be a winner.
One of the most exciting aspects of this business is taking on a new cigar. I’ve talked about building a brand? Well, this is the beginning. And I gotta tell you I’m thrilled to be representing Marrero Cigars from Costa Rica. Five blends that will satisfy any cigar smoker.
The Bellartes has an Ecuadorian Rosado Habano wrapper, Dominican binder and a Costa Rican blend filler. But most important this cigar is absolutamente único! It’s the brainchild of Joel Vazquez Marrero. No I’m not going to go over each blend. B-o-r-i-n-g. Nope. You gotta taste these. Pay attention and you’ll see them on the shelves in no time.
This is downtown East Lansing, Michigan. Home of Michigan State. And home to Campbell’s Cigar Shop. The place is old-fashioned, aged wood shelves and has that aroma that grows year after year. Campbell’s is famous for its Red Door. Today it’s famous for a new owner, Terry and his right-hand man, Josh. I find places like this in every state I go. Trouble is they are a dying breed. But just like anything with personality, it seems to hang in there. Campbell’s is a survivor. It’s down the street on the left. You can’t miss it.
I was at a shop today introducing a boutique cigar. The owner looked at me and asked me why I didn’t get just a position with a cigar company. I gave the question some thought and without any hesitation said, “I value my independence more than anything or notion.” He looked at me and rolled his eyes and I could tell he didn’t understand. But being an independent rep in this business I help small manufacturers build brands. Some sales reps can take an order, do what the sales manager demands. I have a slight problem with that, monotany and authority – always have. So off I go to other shops, doing what I think builds this industry – new brands one at a time.
Back on the road. It can be exciting and it can be a royal pain in the ass. That’s why I read so much. I can have a great day or a poor one, but the book or the article or the whatever takes my mind to another place. And in this trade there are times you want to be – you have to be – in a different place. The manufacturer wants one thing – sales. Hell, I’m on commission. What the hell do you think I want? So in order to stay sane, I had to train my mind to go to a different spot.
Just recently I had the luck to be introduced to Archibald Motley’s art work. You can see it or you can experience it. I decided to go for the latter. And what caught my eye was a painting Mr. Motley did in 1934. Take a good look at the artwork. You can see what caught my attention.
Got up this am and found this!!!!
This was a great Saturday. Had a chance to visit a shop in the area and have a cigar. Now I’ve got a select group of people I’m working with who are offering some of the finest boutique cigars around. They are not well-known. But after I start, they will be the Birkin’s of Cigars. Sheer class, full flavor, and not in any discount catalogs. Sit tight. They will be shortly revealed. (That’s Jane.)