The first two parts of this series let you behind the scenes and took you back to the start of the prestigious journey a Cigar Clown cigar takes to get to your mouth. In this, the final of three parts, we’ll highlight one of the most essential factors in the journey to find the perfect stick: The importance of the brick & mortar shops all across the country.
From the beginning, the Cigar Clowns always had the local cigar lounge on their minds when it came to gaining supporters and to purchase their cigars. Especially during the global pandemic, the impact and importance of helping a real life brick & mortar cigar lounge stay vibrant regardless of profit, was vital to the growth of the Cigar Clowns community.
Most of the time when the Clowns have released a new cigar, one can now get it via Privada Cigar Club or at one of the other numerous shops that offer shipping or pick-up options for those that live too far away or can’t make it in before everything sells out.
The Clowns wanted to do more for the B&M shops so they came up with two strong and unique ideas to get the “Big Top” supporters to reach out to specific lounges when a stick is dropped. The first of these is hosting new release events. What better way to celebrate a Cigar Clown than to do it with a bunch of Cigar Clowns? Typically, when a cigar is going to be released the business partners will select a B&M to host. This is a great way to get cigar lovers to come to the local shop, buy a five or ten pack of the current release cigar, and meet the partners and other members of the Cigar Clown family..
Each release party has been unique. For the attendees, the Clowns provide food and drinks, Cigar Clown swag, and an environment conducive to great experiences. For the brick and mortar, new people are introduced to the shop’s inventory for potential future visits. It presents opportunities for the shops to make connections with new customers so that their relationship with that shop lasts far beyond the end of the event.
The other big way to support the B&Ms was a Cigar Clown event of epic proportions. This would require high-level logistics and detailed planning. In March the Cigar Clowns announced a three-part cigar series called The Three Ring Circus. The Clowns were going to release three cigars in a four to six-week span. The craziest idea the Clowns had yet? The manner in which they would distribute these cigars to the eager public: The Three Ring Circus would be available exclusively at three specific shops. They could not be purchased through PCC. They could not be purchased at any of the usual spots.
It got even crazier, as each cigar would be available at only one shop at a time! What better way to support the B&M’s than to have their shop as the only single location to offer that cigar? The Three Ring Circus would be composed of the Clowncero, the Greenie, and the Payaso Flaco. The Clowns picked three locations they believed could serve the online sales, in-house sales, and social marketing to get more people to get an opportunity to buy the cigar. The B&M relationships with the Clowns at the beginning helped build the Clown’s reputation to where it is today.
Oak Glen Tobacconist located in Oak Glen, CA would cover the first release of the Clowncero. They have a great monthly subscription plan which they used to promote the release. It was the fourth time a Cigar Clown stick was part of their monthly plan. As Clown releases often do, OGT’s computer had some trouble keeping up with the demand when the sticks went on sale at midnight, but at the end of the day sales were made and the Three Ring Circus was underway.
Caravan Cigar Company in Bath, PA had the honor of handling the entire order line for Act Two, the Greenie. Caravan is the quintessential mom-and-pop cigar lounge. Well, really a Brian and Pop lounge. It’s comfortable to smoke in and has the feel of sitting in your own living room. The shop has a pretty loyal Cigar Clown fan base along with an inventory and online system built to handle large amounts of traffic and orders. Caravan Cigars was the perfect spot to drop the Greenie and served as the Clowns’ ideal example of how a B&M shop benefited from the exclusive sale of the cigars.
Act Three, the Payaso Flaco, was released at Mane Street Cigars in Woodbridge, NJ. This local shop has been where many of the Cigar Clowns frequent on any given night. The team at Mane took advantage of the final act and all of those who sought them were able to buy the last of the five packs to complete their collections.
With the success of the previous Cigar Clown Sticks prior to the Three Circus, the clowns could have just had cigars released the same way they always have. Instead, these Clowns decided to give back to their cigar community in a way never done before.
The cigar itself has been the main character of this entire series of articles. It is why we all go to lounges to hang out, why we spend our hard-earned money to enjoy smoking and talking with other cigar lovers. The cigar is the common denominator for all of us. The Cigar Clowns continue to put out great cigars like most other boutique companies, but the standards they hold themselves to are unmatched:
- They only release “Clown Worthy” cigars when they find the right cigar to release.
- An understanding of the importance of the B&M industry and what they need in order to be successful which in return helps with the success of the Cigar Clowns.
- Maintain a genuine concern for the cigar industry as a whole group, not just about themselves.
There will be more releases and collaborations over the next few months. My hope for anyone who takes time out of their busy day to read this series of articles is that you get a little understanding of how difficult and complex it is to put a cigar out into the community of some of the harshest, truth-telling, toughest son of a bitch’s there are in the world.
Clown Worthy cigars are not just a title, for the Cigar Clowns, it’s their business model. The Cigar Clowns are on another level right now and while other companies might try to take the road the Clowns are on, they’ll find it has already been traveled.
I hope everyone enjoys this journey to find the perfect stick.