Thanks to Steve at Cigar Network Magazine for this signature

This morning someone asked me how long have I been doing this web-site.   I actually didn’t have an answer at the top of my head.   When I checked the archives, while I pre-dated some posts, the official launch was on August 15, 2010.  Therefore, I just passed the nine month mark.   I thought this would be a good time to reflect on some things on the past nine months, and give a big thank you to the readers and everyone associated with the cigar industry – THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  Without you this would not continue to be a wonderful ride.

The past nine months have been an unbelievable learning experience and there is still plenty to learn.  Prior to that, I was able to get my foot into the retail end of the cigar business through Outland Cigars.   I’m grateful to Tom and the staff at Outland Cigars for allowing me to be a part of the team.   It has shifted a lot of my focus over the past nine months – to that of how important the retail piece of the business is.

From the beginning, this web-site has been about my vision of cigars – namely the Smoke, the Craft, and the People.  Along the way,  I keep the retail responsibilities separate from the web-site responsibilities.  Back in April, I established an Operational Code of Ethics.  This is my commitment to the readers and people in the cigar industry that the web-site will operate with the highest levels of integrity . As I’ve learned I’ve added some things along the way – and will continue to do so.  Yes, I’ve had spike in traffic and it’s nice to have, but this web-site has never been nor will ever be about that.   It’s fun and will continue to remain fun.  I will never sacrifice the honesty and my own vision for doing things. 

Lately, the focus of things has taken a more of a shift toward emphasizing cigar reviews, cigar previews, and legislation.  They are all equal in my book.  By documenting content in these areas,  it’s a way to give back to the retail end of the industry – a part that I am extremely loyal to.  I’m committed to protecting this segment of the industry as without it, I would not be able to have fun doing this web-site without that part of the business.

As for the future, the big thing I’m exploring is the implementation of a Cigar Rating System.   I’ve been hesitant to do this, but from my experience to be on the retail end, it needs to be done to better serve that segment.  I’m exploring a few options right now and evaluating what will be the most effective way to provide one.  This will be supplement the “assessment” ratings provided.   I’m hoping by early July 2011 to nail this down.

There are plans for a migration to the wordpress platform.   This will help provide more flexibility with building a unique layout for this web-site.  I’m thinking mid-Fall 2011 might be the earliest timeframe.    My goal is to always keep this site ad-free.  I might have a couple of other surprises in store too.

Stay tuned for the Cigar Coop Hall of Fame Cigar inductions – scheduled for October 7th, the Friday before Columbus Day.

No doubt, I’ve made plenty of mistakes as well.  I appreciate everyone’s patience!

I look forward to continuing to learn and interact from you. – and thank you.