Cigar Life Lakeland Diamond Crown Lounge

Cigar Life Lakeland Diamond Crown Lounge

As of November, Cigar Life in Lakeland, Florida is now a designated Diamond Crown Lounge!

 

Cigar Life: A Cigar Institution

 

For years, Mario and Patty Medina, owners and operators of Cigar Life Lakeland, have been friends of the Newmans, supporters of local nonprofits, and lovers of premium cigars.

Cigar Life opened almost three years ago, and ever since, has been renowned for a widely stocked humidor, relaxing environment, and above all else; superior customer service. The Facebook and Google reviews for Cigar Life number in the hundreds, each one more complimentary than the next.

“We have a 2,400 square foot lounge that meets the top criteria of what cigar smokers are looking for…no one leaves unsatisfied.”

But it’s not just the cigars that Mario and Patty bring to the public…it’s also the opportunity to give back.

Cigar Life hosts a yearly event to benefit the Southeastern Guide Dogs, an organization that Bobby Newman, Executive Vice President of J.C. Newman, has worked closely with for decades.

“After we attended Havana Nights last year, we were so moved by the cause. We have a huge veteran customer base, and so it fit well for us; it was something we really wanted to get behind.”

 

Elevating Diamond Crown

Though it has been made “official” on the dotted line, Cigar Life has been an advocate for the Diamond Crown line of cigars for years. While boasting a humidor filled with a number of premium and boutique brands, there is something about the Diamond Crown cigars that Mario and Patty keep returning to.

Diamond Crown has always had a big place in our hearts…we’ve always had an affinity for the Newman brands. We love the legacy they bring to the cigar industry. Who they are, what they do, and how they give back is a fit for us. Our core beliefs about customer service and quality align well with what the Newmans are doing.”

The legacy of Diamond Crown, and what it stands for – history, quality, patience, and elegance – match the mission and efforts of Cigar Life in a way that made them a natural fit as a Diamond Crown Lounge.

What you can expect from Cigar Life 

Cigar Life holds their annual anniversary party every January (find more information about their January 18th party here). Be sure you also mark February 29th on your calendar for the grand opening of Cigar Life as a Diamond Crown Lounge. More details are coming, so do not forget to follow along on our social media!

 

Cigar Life

Address: 5724 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33813
Phone: (863) 603-8495

Website: https://cigarlifellc.com/

Hours:
M – Th: 11 am – 9 pm
F – S: 10 am – 10pm
SUN: 12 pm – 6pm

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, our one goal as a company is to continue handcrafting premium cigars for 4 generations and 100 years.

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

As the oldest, family-owned premium cigar maker in America, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. has 124 years and four generations of history. Although my great-grandfather’s legacy and the lessons we have learned along the way are an important part of our company’s culture, J.C. Newman is anything but stuck in the past.

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, my father, uncle, and I are making a series of strategic investments in our family business. Some of these changes are operational while others are more cosmetic. However, all of these are investments in our long-term future. Our one goal as a company is to continue our family’s four-generation tradition of handcrafting premium cigars for another four generations and 100 years. 

New Shipping Department

This summer we converted an old cigar box factory adjacent to El Reloj into a new, 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art shipping warehouse for Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman cigars and accessories.  This modern facility is three times the size of our old ship-ping department.  It has significantly increased our shipping capacity and will allow us to provide faster order processing and delivery to our authorized retailers throughout the United States.

 

 

Expanded Capacity at J.C. Newman PENSA

The most important ingredient of any great cigar is high quality, aged tobacco.  There is simply no short cut to the years that it takes to properly ferment and age premium cigar tobacco.  As our sales of Brick House, Perla del Mar, Quorum, and our other brands continue to increase, we have run out of space to store and age our tobacco at our J.C. Newman PENSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.  Therefore, this month we are opening, a new, two-story tobacco warehouse adjacent to our factory so that we can increase our long-term tobacco inventory and ensure consistent blends for decades to come.

Restoring El Reloj

Our iconic El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa, Florida has been our home since my great-grandfather bought this historic building in 1954.  As a 109-year-old factory, however, El Reloj has been showing its age. This year we are investing in restoring El Reloj so that it can proudly continue Ybor City’s cigar legacy for another century. Among other things, we are replacing decades-old electrical systems and original plumbing.  We are reinforcing structural supports and repairing damaged floors.  We are updating our offices and restrooms throughout the factory and are rebuilding our terrazzo entrance steps. While all this work is taking place in El Reloj, we are still rolling 60,000 cigars per day and are shipping thousands of packages to customers around the country each week.

 

Creating the American Cigar Destination

When we rededicate El Reloj and reopen it to the public in early 2020, we will unveil what will become a premier destination for cigar tourists in the United States.  Our factory will be open to the public for tours.  We will have three floors of exhibits and event spaces, including a new, cigar museum with a theater showing historic cigar films.  We will have a new factory store showcasing cigars from Ybor City.  We will open a new handmade cigar factory on our third floor where we will roll The American and other cigars by hand.  We will have a rolling school where we will teach visitors how to roll cigars and will offer classes on cigar blending and tasting.  Just as wineries, distilleries, and breweries attract large crowds, we expect to welcome a thousand visitors per week to El Reloj next year. We hope that you will visit us!

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, our one goal as a company is to continue handcrafting premium cigars for 4 generations and 100 years.

An Interview with The Cigar Club

An Interview with The Cigar Club

The Cigar Club, a store just outside of Nashville, is a place where everyone feels like family – that’s what Patricia Williams, Co-Owner and General Manager of the store told us during an interview last week. At the annual IPCPR Trade Show this past July, J.C. Newman ran a contest for retailers: anyone who posted a photo of themselves with their Regional Sales Manager would be entered for a chance to have their store featured on our blog, social media, and newsletter. Patricia’s photo with her RSM Louis Marshall landed her the 1st place prize, and so we (JCN) called her up to find out exactly what The Cigar Club (CC) is all about.

JCN: So – how long has Cigar Club of Nashville been open?

CC: 22 years.

JCN: Wow. That’s a long time!

CC: I know. The store opened 22 years ago. Hard to believe. It’s been a great journey.

JCN: And have you always had a passion for cigars?

CC: Well 22 years ago, I signed up to be the office manager. For four to five weeks after taking the job, I just watched these guys sit around the table smoking cigars and enjoying them so much and so I decided to try one, and I’ve been smoking ever since.

13 years ago, when the previous owner decided to sell [Cigar Club], I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. By that time, I had become the manager of the store. I had made so many friends; I enjoyed the business, the community, the friendships I made, the customers I met – we’re like a family. By that point I decided there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do. That’s when I and another customer bought the previous owner out and we’ve been the operators for 13 years. And I still love the cigars.

JCN: So now that you’re in it, what’s your favorite part of the cigar industry?

CC: The people absolutely. The fact that when you are smoking a cigar, you are instantly bonded with the person sitting across from you, even if you have nothing else in common. It’s a bond that transcends age groups, race, and social status. 

  

Patricia Williams, her husband Todd Williams, and some Cigar Club regulars

At any given time, we can have six guys around the table; you’ll have doctors and construction workers, and these are people that wouldn’t come into contact any other way but that cigar. So many friendships are formed, so much business has taken place. It’s a spirit that…it makes us all brothers of the leaf. It really is that way. I have seen it for 22 years. 

 Now, new people come in and the best compliment I get, after the second or third time they’ve come in, they’ll say, “since the first time I came in here, I felt like I was home.” Everyone accepts you. It’s a ‘pull up a chair’ mentality. It doesn’t matter if you’re smoking a three-dollar cigar or a ten-dollar cigar or even a pipe – we love our pipe guys too! [a chuckle]

It’s a family. I love the cigars. I would smoke even if I didn’t have the store because I love the family part.

JCN: That’s an amazing atmosphere to have! Sounds like your regulars are a huge part of creating that. Do you want to talk about some of your regular customers and how they contribute to the store?

CC: I have customers that have been coming in 22 years and also new people all the time. It’s a nice mix of new people and people who have been here forever. Actually, it’s funny – it’s hard to know who’s working. I mean we have tee shirts for our employees of course, but I say that because the regulars are so helpful. They get up and go help people that come in if I’m busy. They’ll show them around the humidor and help them pick out cigars. They’ll say, “I can’t ring you up because I don’t work here but this is a good one.” Its comical, but it’s a testament to the atmosphere we have at the store.

[The regulars] wives will call, and they’ll say, “Yeah I’m down at the club,” meaning the Cigar Club. Their wives will send them here when they are under their feet too much too.

 

It’s my regulars that have carried us along; I can always depend on them. They’re always so friendly that when new people come in, they feel welcome. They’re constantly telling each other about new products that come in and they build the excitement. They’ll say, “she just got ‘this or that’ in!” They are unofficial salespeople for me. They love it. They want it to be successful and they’re always saying nice things about us. It is unusual for someone to come in the store and not be greeted, if not by my staff, but sometimes before we get a chance to say hello, our customers are greeting them. They are a huge part of keeping us going.

Any job is a job, and has its good days and bad, but they make it amazing. They make it worth it. Young guys hang right in there with the older guys and swap stories. These guys are solving the problems of the world I swear! [laughing]

JCN: Do you have any specials for these regulars? Or any annual traditions or celebrations?

CC: We do a customer appreciation day two times per year in May and October. It is two days out of the year that we run a discount on everything in the store and that’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our customers. It varies but it’s always on a Saturday and it’s a nice discount on anything in the store for them.

Patricia Williams and her daughter Elizabeth Boyd

JCN: Ok, shameless plug: what is your favorite J.C. Newman cigar?

CC: The original Diamond Crown is probably my favorite. On a more regular pace: The Brick House. I could smoke that every day. But I would absolutely take a Diamond Crown to celebrate, and I like the original the best.

JCN: Second shameless plug: which J.C. Newman product is a best seller at The Cigar Club?

CC: I would say the Brick House. The Mighty-Mighty size does well in all three wrappers but the original Mighty Mighty is the best seller. My guys are smoking [the Brick House] all the time and it’s a great priced cigar.

JCN: What are you most looking forward to for the future of cigars?

CC: I am extremely encouraged by the number of new smokers and that people are constantly branching out and trying new things. Being in the business for 22 years, I’ve seen that people were very stuck with one brand. Maybe they were Fuente guys or Padron guys and they might buy something else, but they didn’t stray too far.

Now, people are looking for and trying new cigars. Even with FDA regulations, and the price increases, I am encouraged by the fact that people, and even new smokers, are enjoying the variety. They don’t seem to be put off by the fact that the prices have to go up. We have lots of new cigars coming out and new blends – lots of different twists. When you’re doing this for this long, you would think we would run out of combinations to come up with [a laugh] but with new blends and different rolling styles… the customers are enjoying that.

JCN: Alright, here’s your chance to tell everything about your RSM Louis Marshall. How does he take care of you? Any dirt?

CC: [A laugh] No! No dirt! He is very efficient. He is quick to respond if I have a question or place an order – I always hear back, right away. Really that’s all I ask from a rep – let me know if anything new is going and that if I have a problem or a question that they get back to me promptly and that’s what he does. He’s great.

JCN: Is there anything else you want J.C. Newman blog readers to know about The Cigar Club?

CC: We always call ourselves ‘your local tobacconist’ because we try to be very informed on the products. Two of my employees, Lauren and Evan, have already passed their Tobacco University tests and are now tobacco verified retail specialist and our other employees Dave and Todd are working on it. We try to be very well informed.

We have a knowledgeable, friendly staff to help you make your decision. We look at it as an educational thing to explain and help [customers] find what they want. We try to stay informed and educate customers. We sell cigars, pipes, pipe tobacco and accessories for those. We don’t do cigarettes, chew, or vapes or any of that. We are on the traditional end – we sell tried and trusted brands. We have a few boutique companies, but we are not a boutique store. We have a family atmosphere. That’s the big thing.

 

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Patricia Williams and her silent partner Steve Bridges operate Cigar Club of Nashville seven days a week. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 10 am – 7 pm and Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm. You can learn more about them on their website: http://cigarsnashville.com/

Address: 2148 N Gallatin Road
Madison, TN 37115

Phone: 615-859-2425

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, our one goal as a company is to continue handcrafting premium cigars for 4 generations and 100 years.

IPCPR 2019 Recap

IPCPR 2019 Recap

The annual International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Trade show took place June 28 – July 1 at the Sands Expo Center in the Venetian Resort, Las Vegas, NV.

The Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman booth, holding strong at 18 years old, offered our retail partners a chance to meet with their Regional Sales Managers, and their favorite Fuente/Newman family members.  

This trade show also gave us the opportunity to showcase our new products, and discuss our plans for our 125th company anniversary, coming up in 2020. 

 

Day 1: J.C. Newman’s newest cigar; The Yagua

The Yagua was on display in the J.C. Newman booth, to drum up interest. Though this cigar is not for sale just yet, the project is merely months away from shipping.

The Yagua is a cigar from yesteryear. The idea was taken from a story, told to Drew Newman by the J.C. Newman PENSA Factory Manager, Lazaro Lopez. In Cuba, Lazaro’s grandfather would grow, harvest, and cure tobacco. When he wanted to smoke a cigar, he would roll the tobacco into a cigar shape, but without the use of molds, he had no other choice but to use what was at his fingertips. In this case, it was the frond from a Yagua tree (a type of royal palm native to Cuba). The result was a bundle of beautiful, albeit misshapen cigars.

The new Yagua is rolled with this same methodology, but with some updated technology. Though these cigars will all be the same length, the exact size won’t be able to be determined, as each will skew slightly.

On Day 1, our retail partners had an opportunity to hear about this story, then be entered for a chance to win dinner and gambling on us! The winner was Executive Cigar Lounge in Melbourne, FL.

 

Day 2: New Diamond Crown and Craftsman’s Bench Accessories 

 

Day 2 (Sunday) of IPCPR gave our retailers the chance to ask us about our new line of Diamond Crown accessories, namely, the Havana Series of humidors.

The Havana Series is inspired by the vivid colors of Havana. These limited-edition humidors are perfect for those who enjoy a little Cuban flair. They are built with the same unmatched craftsmanship as our Diamond Crown Humidor Series Line and are only available in a 75-count size.

Only 150 humidors were available in each color, and by the end of the trade show, we had completely sold out! Consumers; contact your local diamond crown lounges and Brick and Mortar stores to get your hands on one of these!

When retailers asked about The Havana Series of Humidors on day 2, they were entered to win one of each color of these humidors, as well as each of the new ashtrays from Craftsman’s Bench and each of the two new Diamond Crown Ashtrays (pictured below). The Sunday winner was none other than Tinder Box Rapid City!

Day 3: The American and 125th Company Anniversary

 

The American has been a cigar that’s caught a lot of attention the last few weeks, but at the Trade Show, we were finally able to show it off!

The American times out perfectly with our 125th company anniversary next year. The American is the namesake of the very first cigar ever rolled at El Reloj, the name of our Tampa Factory. Originally rolled by the Regensburg family, The American has changed in it’s construction. Though the name is the same, the new version of our cigar is rolled with 100% American tobacco, placed in American cellophane, and placed into an American-made box, fastened with American forged hinges. Absolutely everything about this cigar is American and boxes will finally be allocated at the end of July 2019, so be sure to look out for it at your local retailer.

The prize for our retailer on Day 3 (Monday) was sensational! The winner, Nice Ash Cigars, has secured a two-person invitation to visit our factory in 2020 when renovations are complete!

CRA Freedom Sampler

All three days, our amazing sales team, along with the sales team from many other manufacturers, were selling CRA Freedom Packs. The CRA has created Freedom Sampler featuring 10 super premium cigars from 10 amazing cigar companies. These packs are raising money to fund legislation and regulatory efforts to fight for your right to enjoy premium cigars. Each pack purchased goes directly to CRA litigators. These freedom packs are shipping in November! The 10 cigars included are:

J.C. Newman, Diamond Crown Black Diamond Emerald
Alec Bradley, Ltd. Mundial PL #56
Arturo Fuente, Fuente Fuente OpusX Limited Edition
Ashton, La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse Viceroy
La Flor, Dominicana TBD
My Father, Don Pepin Original Connecticut
Oliva, Oliva Serie V Melanio Figuardo
Padron, Padron Black No. 200
Rocky Patel, Rocky Patel 50th Anniversary Toro
Tatuaje, Tatuaje Fausto Limited SA

The IPCPR 2019 Trade Show in Review

A huge ‘Thank you!’ to everyone that came to visit our Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman booth at the IPCPR Trade Show! We had a great time seeing you all there! 

As we gear up for the PCA (Formerly IPCPR) 2020 trade show, and our 125th anniversary, we will be releasing new cigars, new accessories, and even a brand-new Trade Show booth! We look forward to seeing you all next year!

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, our one goal as a company is to continue handcrafting premium cigars for 4 generations and 100 years.

J.C. Newman Announces the Launch of The American on May 31

J.C. Newman Announces the Launch of The American on May 31

J.C. Newman Cigar Company, America’s oldest family-owned premium cigar maker, is excited to announce the launch of The American cigar brand at two simultaneous events in Orlando and Tampa on Friday, May 31:

Date:               Friday, May 31

Time:               6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m

Locations:

Corona Cigar Co.
7792 W. Sand Lake Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819

Featuring:
Jeff Borysiewicz
and Drew Newman   

 

 

Davidoff of Geneva Since 1911
4142 W. Boy Scout Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607

Featuring:
Bobby  Newman
and Eric Newman

 

 

What makes The American unique is that it is the first 100% American cigar.  These luxury cigars are hand rolled by Americans in a historic United States cigar factory using heirloom American cigar tobaccos.  The boxes, bands, labels, cigar molds, cellophane tubes, and other parts of this unique project are all made in the United States as well.

“The American speaks to the heart of who we are: a four-generation, 124-year-old, American family business,” said Drew Newman, great-grandson of company founder J.C. Newman.  “Our country’s rich premium cigar tradition dates to the Colonial Era.  As an American, I wanted to prove that we could hand roll a world-class cigar in the United States using American tobaccos.  I am thrilled that we have created an outstanding all-American cigar.”

 

The American is the first cigar rolled with Florida Sun Grown wrapper, grown by Corona Cigar Co.’s Jeff Borysiewicz in Clermont, Florida.  The binder is Connecticut Broadleaf grown by eighth-generation family farmer Jon Foster and the filler is a blend of Foster’s Connecticut Havana tobacco with tobaccos grown by the Mennonites in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  

“We are delighted to see our exclusive Florida Sun Grown wrapper tobacco being used on a cigar that is hand crafted in America’s ‘Cigar City,’” said Borysiewicz.  “A hundred years ago, it was commonplace for Florida-grown tobacco to be rolled into cigars in Tampa’s numerous cigar factories. We are proud to be working with the Newman family to bring back this long lost cigar-making tradition after a 50 year hiatus.”

The American was the first brand of cigars rolled in J.C. Newman’s El Reloj factory when it opened in 1910 in Ybor City, Florida.  J.C. Newman has recreated this historic brand in El Reloj to celebrate J.C. Newman’s 125th anniversary next year.  In anticipation of this anniversary, J.C. Newman is investing in a major historic restoration of El Reloj.  This project includes a new cigar museum, factory store, handmade cigar factory-within-a-factory, tours, seminars, and event space.  Once complete next year, El Reloj will be the premier destination for cigar tourism in the United States.  

The American will initially be released in four sizes and in boxes of 20 with a suggested retail price of between $16.00 and $19.50.  For more information about J.C. Newman and The American, please visit: http://www.jcnewman.com/the-american.  

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, our one goal as a company is to continue handcrafting premium cigars for 4 generations and 100 years.

The American Cigar and Florida Sungrown Wrapper

The American Cigar and Florida Sungrown Wrapper

The 100% American Cigar

Made with 100% American Tobacco, rolled in the oldest family-owned premium cigar maker factory in America, packaged in American cellophane and placed in a box made from wood from American trees, this is the all American cigar.

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

In preparation for our 125th anniversary next year, our one goal as a company is to continue handcrafting premium cigars for 4 generations and 100 years.