Simply Stogies
Episode 72: 3 Year Anniversary, Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Problem, and PCA News

Episode 72: 3 Year Anniversary, Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Problem, and PCA News

January 15, 2022

Thank you all so much for your support these past three years!! This is now the longest running podcast and most successful podcast that I've ever done. None of this would be possible without you, the listener. THANK YOU!!

I break down Cigar Aficionado's 2021 Top 25 and why it's still problematic. I also cover the PCA's announcement of adding manufacturers to their board and why that's a good thing.

 

LINK: https://halfwheel.com/pca-adding-more-manufacturers-to-boards-creates-new-mission-statement/403663/

Episode 71: What the Hell is Paprika with Devin Ashley of Bad Ash Cigars

Episode 71: What the Hell is Paprika with Devin Ashley of Bad Ash Cigars

January 1, 2022

I sit down with Devin Ashley, owner and founder of Bad Ash Cigars. Bad Ash Cigars is an ultra-boutique cigar company that is just getting off the ground. We discuss the challenges that face small cigar manufacturers, where he sources his tobacco, how he started rolling cigars, super tasters, and how he handles being in the cigar industry and the healthcare field.. We talk about the FDA, rules and regulations, and a lot more. 

 

Visit Bad Ash Cigars' website here!

Episode 70: PCA Legislative Update with Josh Habursky and Glynne Loope

Episode 70: PCA Legislative Update with Josh Habursky and Glynne Loope

December 15, 2021

I am joined via Zoom by the PCA's Head of Government Affairs, Joshua Habursky, and State Advocacy Director, Glynn Loope. We take a look back at the legislative victories of 2021 and then look forward to the legislative fights coming in 2022. We discuss the how the PCA approaches the Federal Government fights, and the multi-faceted fights at the state and local levels. We also let our listeners know how they can become involved in the fight, by going to cigaraction.org, staying up to date on the fight, and letting your local, state, and federal lawmakers know where you stand. You can even have your local B&M reach out to Josh and Glynn to have them appear in-person or over Zoom to educate and help with grassroots efforts in your area. 

You can email Josh at joshua@premiumcigars.org

You can email Glynn at glynn@premiumcigars.org 

Episode 69: The One and Only Tommy Zman

Episode 69: The One and Only Tommy Zman

December 1, 2021

I chat, via Zoom, with the one and only Tommy Zman. Tommy "Zman" Zarzeki is a writer, producer, voice actor, humorist, and content creator. While he has worked on projects outside of the cigar industry, Tommy is well-known for his work in the cigar industry. Tommy talks about how he broke into the cigar industry and where his journey took him. Tommy recalls his time at JR Cigars and Famous Cigars, among other, and what it was like working with guys like Steve Saka. Tommy also talks about his arrest after leaving Famous Cigars and how the case was dismissed, all charges dropped, and his record expunged. We also touch on how "PC" and cancel culture has an affect on humorists and comedians, the politics of cigar smokers, and much more. You do NOT want to miss this episode.

You can see what Tommy is up to and some of the things he's worked on in the past by going to his website tommyzman.com.

You can check out his Facebook group Cromag Nation here.

Episode 68: Bonus with Lucas Da Silva of Oxford Cigar Company

Episode 68: Bonus with Lucas Da Silva of Oxford Cigar Company

November 21, 2021

I welcome Lucas Da Silva, owner of oxfordcigarcompany.com, back to the podcast. We discuss the state of cigar retail, what it's like to do business during the second cigar boom, and how Oxford Cigar Company chooses what new cigar manufacturers to carry. Lucas also talks about the current logistical problems plaguing the industry and why it may be harder to find your favorite cigar on store shelves and online. Lucas tells us what hot new products and cigars will make the perfect Holiday gift for that cigar smoker in your life. We talk about Oxford's huge Black Friday sale (Nov 21 - Nov 28, 2021). And Lucas announces the Oxford Cigar Company Airstream Mobile Lounge. A mobile cigar lounge and walk-in humidor that is perfect for your next event! To inquire about having the Oxford Mobile Cigar Lounge at your next event, email Lucas at lucas@oxfordcigarcompany.com

Episode 67: The Cuba Episode with Nick Syris of LH Premium Cigars

Episode 67: The Cuba Episode with Nick Syris of LH Premium Cigars

November 15, 2021

I welcome Nick Syris, the owner and Master Blender of LH Premium Cigars and a Subject Matter Expert on all things Cuban cigars, to the show. Nick and I run the gamut of Cuban cigars, as we discuss the U.S. embargo on Cuba and some of the effects on the Cuban people, the changing U.S. stance on Cuba from administration to administration, some of the challenges Cuban cigars face, how the rest of the world views Cubans and "New World" cigars, what Cuban cigars might look like in a post-embargo world, and what is currently allowed and not allowed under the Biden administration. Nick is a wealth of knowledge about Cuban cigars. Over the last 12yrs Nick has visited Cuba countless times and has worked hard to create a bridge cigar in his LH Premium Cigar lines.

 

Don't forget to visit Oxford Cigar Company and use coupon code "SimplyStogies" for 10% off your entire order!

Episode 66: Getting to Know Alec Rubin from Alec Bradley Cigars

Episode 66: Getting to Know Alec Rubin from Alec Bradley Cigars

November 1, 2021

I travel to Capital Cigar Lounge in Lincoln, Nebraska and sit down with Alec Rubin of Alec Bradley Cigars. Alec and I discuss what it was like growing up in the industry and his unique cigar journey. Alec describes what it's like working with family, what he believes makes a cigar manufacturer "boutique," and his opinions on vitolas and accessories. We touch a little bit on how the global pandemic has affected the industry, how it affected their business, and that leads to a discussion on the meaning behind the Kintsugi (and why it was 6mos behind schedule). 

A huge thank you to Jeff Fry, GM of Capital Cigar Lounge, and owners Tony and Austin for allowing me the opportunity to sit down with Alec Rubin and talk with him.

Episode 65: Return of the Reinado Empire

Episode 65: Return of the Reinado Empire

October 15, 2021

I chat, via Zoom, with Antonio Lam of Reinado Premium Cigars. There are things in the world that are more important than cigars and more important than business. Antonio and I discuss one of those things: family. Antonio explains where he has been for the past seven years and the reason for Reinado's long hiatus from the industry. We talk about the cigar industry, what it means to be boutique, and where Reinado's seat at the table is. Antonio also talks about the future of Reinado before we have a bit of fun.

 

Reinado Cigars is a proud supporter of the Dementia Society of America.

Visit Reinado Cigars website.

Halfwheels' article on Reinado's return.

Cigar Coop's article remembering Reinado.

Episode 64: A Conversation with Andy Sweis of Cedar Room Fine Cigars & Lounge

Episode 64: A Conversation with Andy Sweis of Cedar Room Fine Cigars & Lounge

October 1, 2021

I am joined via Zoom by Andy Sweis, owner of Cedar Room Fine Cigars & Lounge in Scottsdale, AZ. We talk about how he got into the cigar industry and how it is a family affair for him and his brother. Andy talks about staying on the bleeding edge of boutique cigars and new releases. We talk about both the physical space and their online space and the challenges of competing in an online market. We find out how Andy sees his customers as family and how that translates into one of the best experiences I've had in a cigar lounge. We learn about their Cigar Text Club and how they are innovators in the industry!

 

Andy announces the Simply Stogies Sampler on both their website and via the Cigar Text Club! The Simply Stogies Casdagli Sampler - $90 value for $69.99 - add to cart and priority shipping will be included.  You can join the Cigar Text Club and order the Simply Stogies Casdagli Sampler by texting keyword "stogies" to 1-833-855-6464

 
The sampler includes:
 
Traditional Robusto
Gran Mareva 
Super Belicoso 
Grand Cafe Maduro 
Cottontail 
 
 
Episode 63: Smoking with the Evil 3mpire Cigar 5ociety

Episode 63: Smoking with the Evil 3mpire Cigar 5ociety

September 15, 2021

I sit down with Joe from Evil 3mpire Cigar 5ociety at Prime Cigars in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Joe and I have a great conversation that covers a wide array of topics. We get to know Joe and how he started his cigar journey before getting to know what the Evil 3mpire Cigar 5ociety is all about. Joe explains their focus on those in and around the cigar industry, how they got started, and what's next for the E3C5. Joe and I also discuss Instagram "influencers" and what it means to be an "influencer," the politics of the cigar industry, if we should be involved in those politics and how, and we talk about the cigar community. Joe also shares with us upcoming projects. It was a great conversation that I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

 

You can follow Evil 3mpire Cigar 5ociety on Instagram here.

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