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How to start a cigar company?

This is a discussion on How to start a cigar company? within the General Cigar Discussion forums, part of the The Cigar Lounges at Puff category; The one thing I REALLY should have asked Pete Johnson, but forgot, was how he got involved in the business ...

  
  1. #1

    Cabaiguan Conservative snowboardin58's Avatar


     

    How to start a cigar company?

    The one thing I REALLY should have asked Pete Johnson, but forgot, was how he got involved in the business in the first place. Not that I have any plans to start my own, but I am very interested to hear how he was able to meet Pepin and start his own company(or maybe he bought Tatuaje from Pepin since it was Pepin's first project in America?). Obviously somebody who has owned tobacco companies for generations, such as Pepin or Eiora, would have less of a problem, but Pete Johnson was a white boy from Maine!

  2. #2

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish ashmaster's Avatar


     

    Re: How to start a cigar company?

    Here's a little reading material about Pete, pretty interesting.

    http://www.cigarjack.net/2008/08/08/...-pete-johnson/
    "A cigar ought not to be smoked solely with the mouth, but with the hand, the eyes, and with the spirit." -- Zino Davidoff

  3. #3

    Full grown Puffer Fish uvacom's Avatar


     

    Re: How to start a cigar company?

    It seems like a pretty tough game to get into. Very competitive, and having to deal with QC issues and actually getting product from 3rd world suppliers with less than stellar governments, then having to manage relationships with retailers, and B&M vs. internet, traveling all of the time...and that's just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure.

  4. #4

    Leading Puffer Fish


     

    Re: How to start a cigar company?

    I'm assuming it's one of those businesses that's like adult movies, in that the fantasy of it is a lot better than the reality, except for those truly rare individuals who are suited for it.

    For instance, I don't really care much for telephones, and I bet he spends several hours every day making and fielding dozens of phone calls. That would wear me out in no time. Wheeling and dealing with hundreds, or even thousands, of people you'll never actually meet, and some of them you wouldn't want to, even if you could. Professional weasels, whose sole purpose in life is to make sure you, and people like you, never get a fair deal as long as they can help it. Bleh. Not for me, thanks.
    "That's destruction at its finest!" - R. Lee Ermey

  5. #5

    Götterdämmerung Snake Hips's Avatar


     

    Re: How to start a cigar company?

    Quote Originally Posted by PerpetualNoob View Post
    I'm assuming it's one of those businesses that's like adult movies, in that the fantasy of it is a lot better than the reality, except for those truly rare individuals who are suited for it.

    For instance, I don't really care much for telephones, and I bet he spends several hours every day making and fielding dozens of phone calls. That would wear me out in no time. Wheeling and dealing with hundreds, or even thousands, of people you'll never actually meet, and some of them you wouldn't want to, even if you could. Professional weasels, whose sole purpose in life is to make sure you, and people like you, never get a fair deal as long as they can help it. Bleh. Not for me, thanks.
    Interesting way to look at it (the weasels, not the titty flicks!). I wouldn't have thought about that aspect of it. I also would like to know how the Hell you even get started in this business without inheriting it or anything about it. I wouldn't get into the business, I would just want to know how so I can properly commend those with the balls to actually go through with it and be successful.

    Quote Originally Posted by pistol View Post
    However, if it smells like a stripper, then it's definitely an Acid!

  6. #6

    No longer a community member.


     

    Re: How to start a cigar company?

    Step One: Collect tobacco.
    Step Two: ?????
    Step Three: PROFIT!

  7. #7

    Not drinking the Kool-aid scoot's Avatar


     

    Re: How to start a cigar company?

    It would seem the way that it tends to happen, for guys that aren't born into it, is by being involved in the business. Working in tobacco shops and getting to know the industry and the people involved in it. Like most anything in business, its all about who you know and a little luck and good timing. Just look at guys like Pete and Dion. There's a lot of work involved, for sure, but it doesn't seem like something you can wake up one morning, decide you're gonna do it and then force your way into the business. Its something thats gotta be eased into; a gradual process.

  8. #8

    Young Puffer Fish Acalla's Avatar


     

    Re: How to start a cigar company?

    There is a pretty cool interview with Paul Bush of Panacea Cigars about how he started his company. Currently it is still a small operation and Paul has not given up his day job. Very interesting. It is on the PorchCast at An American Front Porch (An American Front Porch). Click on the Podcast icon and go to #13.
    ~Acalla


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