May as well face it, we are never quite ‘back to normal’ at C.Gars Ltd! And no sooner than we catch up with the Summer Auction work (invoicing/customer collections/shipping – bear of a task) it’s back to the regular madness that we know and love at our London and Norfolk offices.
The phones never stop ringing, the orders are flying in almost faster than we can cope with them, the doorbell doesn’t stop ringing, the cigars and whisky are sampled all day (a bit like Mad Men if you watch the series!) and thankfully we have a 99.9% customer satisfaction rate according to my Customer Services Manager (Michael Pearn.) If you’re happy with C.Gars Ltd, please let Michael know email@example.com and if you’re not happy about anything we do let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org
Fairly certain that we are by a long way the largest specialist cigar merchant in the UK, more mail order, more websites. more cigars and more retail cigar shops than anyone in the UK. It’s a ridiculously huge and growing Group but I like to think that Laura and I still know the names of all of our staff (over 50!) as well as all of the names of our regular clients, many of whom we have known since 1994. We still take huge pride in our exceptional customer service ethos and try and think and act like a Mom & Pop cigar store.
Don’t take my word for it – you can see 1000’s of customer testimonials here.
So I should probably now say thank you to all of our clients who have kept us ridiculously busy since the mid 1990’s when we became the first cigar merchant on the internet!… Thank you 🙂
New cigar venue in Chelsea opening up and our events co-ordinator Lalla is organizing an opening evening that looks like a lot of fun. Check out details here.
For those of you following the incredible success story of my Inka – Secret Blend cigars from Peru, here’s the latest update: Buy them while you can! They are flying off our shelves at such an alarming rate, I would like to say I’m astonished but the reality is I shouldn’t be because they are such a great smoke and ridiculously good value. I mean case in point the Secret Blend long filler, handmade robusto at £6.49 you would have to pay double for a similar quality cigar!
We are struggling to bring them in fast enough to cope with demand, we were bringing in imports of 8000 sticks at a time but our latest order which will arrive next month is over 25,000 sticks. I have redesigned the packaging which may I say is uber cool as well as created 3 new size cigars which are going to be exceptionally popular.
Secret Blend cigars are all made with aged tobacco, you won’t get any harshness, aggression or bitterness from the first to the last puff, you will get a deep, rich, smooth and complex full flavour smoke from very well fermented premium Peruvian tobacco. These cigars are a ‘Puros’ that means that all the leaf- filler/binder/wrapper are all from Peru. Our Partners at Tabacalera Oriente make these cigars to my design and my blend, the consistency and quality control are quite excellent. These are not just picked off the shelves and packaged, they are unique for my brand.
I’ve been a cigar merchant for many years and the business has grown and is growing and fortunately I have been very successful. I can’t help but think that Secret Blend is however fast becoming my biggest success – all very exciting stuff for an old boy in the game like me!
I visited our Norfolk warehouse/office on Wednesday – a hub of humidor and accessory shipping and the powerhouse of IT and marketing behind C.Gars Ltd Group. Under the watchful supervision of my co-Director Laura who started/created C.Gars Ltd, this office is buzzing with creativity with James, Michael and Amy covering 18 hours a day on IT and marketing projects. They are currently working on a huge new website redesign with better and faster functionality for IPhone and Tablets. Norfolk is such a beautiful county, peaceful and quiet in comparison to London (and London’s traffic!) I’m looking forward to my next Norfolk Team meeting in September.
Our Mayfair shop (Alfie Turmeaus cigars) in Shepherd Market is another incredible success story for C.Gars Group, the shop is tiny but has a massive range of premium cigars in the walk in humidor as well as a comprehensive range of everything else you would want to find in a specialist tobacconist. It also has a sampling area in the basement that is a comfortable oasis when the weather is bad (frequently in London!) My assistant Tereza has been managing the store for the last 3 months and sales are up over 60%!! But why??? Do our customers prefer to be served by a pretty young lady? Suggestions please!
I think we have one of the largest ranges online of any cigar website in the world, almost 5000 product lines in fact. Michelle and I attended our various suppliers trade show in London this week and made sure that we have all the new products on the market ordered. Essentially if you can’t find it on my website… It’s probably not worth buying!
Finally RIP James Gandolfini aka Tony Soprano (smoker of CAO cigars on screen!) who tragically died this week. Great actor and a sad loss.
Well, from the look of the rain outside my office window Summer has already been and gone! I’m out of here for the weekend and plan to chill out with a bottle of our award winning Ailein Mor and a baggie with a variety of Inka- Secret Blend as well as some of my favourite Havana cigars (Boli Beli’s, Monte 2’s and PSD4’s)
Have a smokey weekend