Saturday, August 21, 2010

2010 IPCPR New Orleans

Here's a few photos that Maria and I (mostly Maria) snapped while we were in New Orleans for the 2010 IPCPR trade show.

It's both interesting and disturbing to me that attendance at our annual retail show always seems predicated on the actual location of the event. This is the second consecutive year that we're in New Orleans for the show and attendance was noticeably down. Too bad. I say that for two reasons. The first is that New Orleans is an awesome city! The food is off the hook and the locals are always colorful. The second and probably most important is that in my view as an IPCPR retail member, there is an obligation to support our trade organization and the participating vendors. Without retailers support there is little return on investment and believe me it costs big dollars to display at almost any trade show regardless of the industry.

Next year the show will be in Las Vegas and I can almost guarantee that attendance will be significantly higher. Personally, I'd take New Orleans every time! The food is superior, there is far more diversity and it's a whole lot less expensive (eaten at a 'celebrity' restaurant lately?). Lodging is 25%-50% less and I can book a non-stop from Tampa via Southwest and be there within an hour an a half. Anyway. I digress. Attendance will be way up at next year's show without a doubt! How about Miami as a future show site? Now we're talking! The vast majority of the cigar manufacturers are based there and the Miami Beach convention center is within walking distance of South Beach and some pretty awesome nightclubs and restaurants.

A few random thoughts...

Jonathan Drew is one of the nicest and most genuine people that I have ever had the pleasure of calling friend. The Drew Estate display area always has the most buzz at the show! This year they were giving away custom painted Chuck's for qualifying purchases. There were hundreds of pairs on display all over the booth area each one a unique creation from the Acid Sub Culture team in Esteli, Nicaragua.

We had to travel to New Orleans to be under a tropical storm warning! It never came to fruition but WTH?!?

Ernesto (Ernie) Carillo (La Gloria Cubana fame) is back and the cigar samples I received and smoked were a rather pleasant surprise as I'm not the biggest La Gloria fan. As you might expect, the EPC Cigar Company booth was packed most of the time but I did have a few minutes to chat with Ernie and look forward to adding his cigars sometime this fall. Stay tuned.

I finally took and passed my Tobacconist University final exam and am proud to say that I am now an official Certified Retail Tobacconist!!

Toraño Family Cigars has three new cigars scheduled to be released (2 premium & 1 bundle-type) sometime this fall. One is called Single Region and it's more full bodied and flavorable than I expected. Look for that one within the next 4-8 weeks. The Masters is the second premium release and is the creation of Toraño master roller Felipe Sosa. It's a medium-bodied, well balanced and smooth. Felipe and his new creation will be featured at an MJM in-store rolling event the first week of December. I can't wait!!

Every year I'm on the look-out for a new cigar that is flying below almost everyone's radar but kicks -ss. I think that I might have found two gems at this year's show. However, I'm keeping that under wraps for the time being! Isn't it better to receive a small gift every day than to open all your presents at once? I'm just saying...

I hope to see you in our shop soon.

Until then, may God continue to bless us all.

Friday, May 7, 2010

2010 CAO La Traviata Event

Thank you to all our friends who joined us Thursday, April 29th for our La Traviata event. We greatly appreciate and are thankful for each and every one of you who turn out on a monthly basis for these events!

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and certainly enjoyed the great smokes along with the evening's specials.

A special thanks goes out to our gracious co-host, CAO representative Armando Lapido. A true gentlemen of the industry.

Eric Gilchrist was the grand prize winner of a beautiful CAO LX2 humidor who then gifted it to a good friend! Hey Eric, my car is starting to get a little old and I was wondering...

See you on May 27th when we welcome in Jesus Fuego for what is sure to be another great event.

Until then, keep 'em lit!
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Camacho Cigars & Matusalem Rum!

Thanks to all our friends who attended our 3.25 Camacho Cigars and Matusalem rum event on March 25th.

In the past, our annual Camacho event has always been one of our most well attended shows and 2010 was no exception!

The show specials were exceptional and the rum was out of this world.

A special thanks goes out to Camacho representative Carlos Escalona who in conjunction with Maria Martin in Miami made it all possible.
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oliveros 2010 Event

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Oliveros event with company VP Hank Bischoff on February 25th. We all had a great time even though the weather was a bit uncooperative. Spring is on the way I'm told. Any day now!

A special shout out goes to our friend Neil at Corteo's Pizza & Pasta ( for providing us with some outstanding pizza!!

Next month on the 25th we party with Camacho Cigars and Matusalem Rum. You DON'T want to miss this one!!
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Oliveros 2010 Event

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Perdomo Cigars facility in Miami Lakes

Should you ever find yourself in Miami Lakes, consider visiting Perdomo's facility off the Palmetto. Nick himself might even be there to say hi!

Here are a few shots I took last week when I was in town.

Friday, January 29, 2010

2009 Ambos Mundos Event!

Our thanks to everyone who attended our Ambos Mundos event on January 28th!

We all enjoyed a great cigar that was ranked #18 in Cigar Aficionado's top 25 for 2009.Those who stepped up to the plate and brought some of these great smokes home saved a bunch of money in the process! Pete Johnson was generous enought to throw in a swag bonus pack that included a Tatuaje cap, cutter, decal and patches AND 8 free cigars for all those who purchased a box. Wow!!

We'll continue the special through this weekend while supplies last in case you weren't able to stop by the store on Thursday.

Next month, we'll be kickin' it with Hank Bishoff, Lady Oliveros and the King Havano line on February 25th from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Be here or be nowhere!!

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Friday, January 8, 2010

We're excited to be opening our 2010 monthly in-store events on January 28th from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM with Pete Johnson's latest creation, Ambos Mundos. In fact, the Ambos Mundos No.2 Robusto just placed at #18 in Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 Cigars for 2009. Pretty impressive stuff!

CA notes "When Pete Johnson created Tatuaje cigars with Jose "Pepin" Garcia in 2003, the high cost of Miami labor translated into a lofty price tag. Garcia's expansion into Nicaragua offered less expensive alternatives that allowed Johnson to create this bargain-priced brand, the least expensive on our Top 25 list. "I made this cigar partly due to the economy and partly because this is where I originally wanted the cigar to be priced" says Johnson. Despite the price, Ambos Mundos (which means 'both worlds") is still handmade from long-filler tobacco. And it's tasty: a hearty cigar with roasted coffee bean, earth and leather notes, and a long, peppery finish.

We hope to see you on the 28th if not before!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Camacho Liberty 2007

Those of us lucky enough to have had the opportunity to smoke the Camacho Liberty 2007 edition know what an outstanding cigar it was. As you will recall, the 2007 was/is a barber pole- type cigar with a combination corojo and maduro wrapper. The kicker was that Camacho claimed that the filler contained pre-embargo Cuban  tobacco. Whether or not you buy into that, anyone who was fortunate to smoke one will attest to the fact that there was definitely something different going on flavor wise. A bit of spice, cocoa, whatever! But not your dad's Camacho to be sure.

The long story short it that we've been able to secure a few boxes of these jewels and are offering them at $14.50 while they last - which I suspect won't be long. Dave, Jeff and Jason got theirs. Be sure to get yours!