On the eve of the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, we caught up with Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate, who joined us as a special guest as a part of the celebration for Episode 150 of Stogie Geeks. In this in-depth cigar conversation, we hit a variety of topics in regards to Drew Estate.
- Drew provided his insights on the current state of the cigar industry, including new media.
- We had a discussion of the Drew Estate brands and how it is positioned in different market segments of cigar enthusiasts.
- Drew talked about what he considers “Game Changers” in the cigar industry.
- Discussion on Fire-Cured and Candela wrappers. Drew told us there is a project under development to incorporate a candela wrapper with fire-cured tobacco. He demonstrated a couple of prototype during the interview (pictured above), but indicated this is a concept still being developed and is not a branded or finished product.
- Drew commented on the company he co-founded being acquired by Swisher International and how it was a unique situation for both companies. In particular he addressed the polarizing reaction by many when that acquisition occurred.
- Drew provided commentary on two former high profile employees who have now set out to build their own companies – Steve Saka and Nicholas Melillo.
- We had a discussion of the Undercrown Shade and how it marks Drew Estate’s return to having a Connecticut Shade on the market. Drew also addresses how the messaging of the Undercrown brand has slightly changed with the release of the new Undercrown Shade.
- Drew spent some time discussing some of the other releases from Drew Estate at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show.
- Drew and I discussed a couple of articles each of us wrote on “Boutique Cigar Companies”. We definitely had a difference in philosophy on this topic, but I think we both learned quite a bit from each other on this one.