Written by Kevin Godbee

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

User Rating: / 1

industry updates

As the hurricane season entered its final month of 2008, Mike’s Cigars, a Miami, FL retailer, catalogue and internet seller of fine cigars and accessories, brought another kind of storm to the area ...

... the first “We’re Smokin’ at Mike’s Cigars.” The major cigar event was held on Saturday, 1 November on the grounds of the large, attractive store in Bay Harbor Islands, FL.

Requiring a $125.00 ticket purchase, or $150.00 at the door, the event began at 1:00 PM and ended at 6:00 PM. During the five (5) hours, attendees were feted with a meal that included hors d’oeuvres, pastas, salads and an exquisite baked Salmon en croute. Beer and soft drinks were served and a talented Miami DJ – DJ Oscar Jr. – filled the air with music.

Accompanying all that, as well as a ‘welcome bag’ containing a small panoply of cigar accessories and the first welcoming cigar – an Africa by Don Lino – was an array of close to forty prominent manufacturers who offered each guest two (2) of their finest cigars.

Almost all of those who attended, from as far away as Atlanta, GA to the north and Naples, FL to the west purchased the $5 raffle ticket that allowed them to participate in the raffling of six (6) items originally on the schedule, and two (2) more that were spontaneously provided by cigar makers in attendance.

Among the raffle prizes were:

• A Barbeque provided by General Cigar
• A box of Tabacalera Garcia’s new Tabacos Baez along with a Don Pepin ashtray
• A Gift Certificate for Prime Blue Grill, a superb new steakhouse in Miami
• A Don Lino Africa humidor
• A Gift Certificate for Carpaccio, an Italian restaurant in the Bal Harbour Shops
• A humidor from Cuban Crafters
• A Lotus lighter

When Kazaid Hansotia of Gurkha visited the event he donated a beautiful box of his Black Dragon cigars as well as a Gurkha baseball cap.

Camacho’s, or perhaps I should say Davidoff’s, Christian Eiroa signed a Camacho humidor and give it to the raffle.

While many of the cigars were represented by their Reps, the event was visited by Manuel Quesada of MATASA (Fonseca, Casa Magna, Viso Fuerte, et al), Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley, Ernie Padilla of the eponymous cigar, Erik Espinosa of Espinosa y Ortega (601, Cubao), Christian Eiroa, Kazaid Hansotia of Gurkha. Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar & Company (La Aurora, Don Lino, Tatiana, et al) was in attendance all day along with Rene Castaneda, Managing Director of MC&C and Hector Paz, Regional Sales Manager.

That crew has had a busy few weeks, what with arranging to become the distributors of Felipe Gregorio, 601, Cubao, and bringing out their reblended Nestor Miranda Signature Selection – reblended and made by Tabacalera Garcia, no less.

Nick Perdomo, or should we call him Councilman Perdomo was present, looking dapper as always, along with his brother Billy and Perdomo Vice President, Arthur Kempner.

Monte Pascoal, a relatively unknown – thus far – Brazilian made cigar containing the finest Mata Fina and Mata Norte tobaccos, received accolades from several of the smokers at the event.

Everyone was having a good time; and, Oded Ben Arie and Oscar Boruchin could be seen walking about – beaming – while talking with the attendees – many, many of whom were Mike’s Cigars customers be it in the store; from the catalogue or on the internet.

Gary Arzt, who had organized and managed the event for Mike’s Cigars was ‘rolling about’ in a wheelchair, having sustained an injury in a fall at his home – talking with cigar makers, reps and attendees – constantly ‘checking the pulse’ of the event. He had a constant smile on his face and a cigar in his mouth.

Oded Ben Arie told Cigar Review, “We have already started planning the second “We’re Smokin’ at Mike’s,” the only question is, will it be an annual or semi-annual event.” Oscar Boruchin, just nodded his head and smiled, keeping his own counsel.

The event was attended by Dribbles, the American Bulldog seen below in the logo of the event. Anyone who wanted to had his photo taken with the charming dog. Some, who purchased a box of cigars, while the event was going on, were able to have Dribbles ‘sign’ the box with a paw print!

Here are photos from the event:



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