Absolutely. I think consumers are very savvy. If they are in line with a brand, they like that exclusivity. It’s aspirational.
If you look at the older generation—we’re talking my dad’s generation, I would say 65-plus. Those are the guys that go for the real traditional brands, the Macanudos, all the other ones. One of the things we’re trying to do is appeal to that younger smoker, that 25 to 30-year-old. For us to focus on the younger generation and getting my daughters involved so they can start going after that younger generation is very important. At the same time, I think our profile is unique because we cater to everybody, everything when they go out and dine or they go out and drink, it’s about an experience. We provide everybody with an experience by the different wrappers that we have. The different flavor profiles without being very harsh.
Switching gears…What world you want your legacy to be? Professionally and personally.
The farming side is important there, that we help and support the communities we work with. These are the people it takes to get us there. When you look at the retail side, we want to be a partner they can count on. If you’re a consumer, we want to be a company that receives feedback. We want you to have the best experience with our cigars. At the same time, we’re very open-minded to all kinds of feedback.
We have farm trips now with our retailers. We like their input. I think a lot of times we get great ideas, and a lot of stuff that really resonates for both consumers and clients.
One of the things that’s very important for family–everything we do with friends and family is to set an example for the next generation on how to work. To instill a strong work ethic, be thoughtful, be courteous, and always try to protect your reputation as a good person.
What should we look out for in terms of new releases, consumer engagement in 2023?
We’re working on a couple of things that are very special. We’re working on an 85th-year anniversary for my father.
We’re also working on some event cigars. At events, consumers will experience that cigar, so we get feedback on those cigars and see how that new project is viewed and coming along.
We’re going to be more dynamic to see what we have. Our arsenal is good. We have a lot of stuff that we could come out with. One of the things we also try to do, we first want a blend to be established and then slowly grow.
We’re still pretty new when it comes to the company, so we have a lot of stores to grow into. When I provide a portfolio of five, six different blends, and four, five different sizes. You’re looking at 20 to 30 facings, and not all retail humidors have that capability. We have to be very strategic on how much product that comes out. We’re probably at 30 percent of all the retail stores that we want to be in, we still have two-thirds to grow.
Consumers can’t get enough of the newer premium artisanal cigar brands nowadays They really seek them out at the retail level.
We still have a long way to go. We’re very satisfied with the work we’ve already seen.