If you are a retailer who is not a Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust retailer and wants to become one, you will have to wait. Today owner Steve Saka announced a temporary halt to opening new retail accounts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter, Saka explains:

“As a small family business that has been working relentlessly to establish our brands on the best Retailers’ shelves for the last five years, this is a decision that I have been agonizing over for weeks. Our goal has always been, and remains, to provide the very finest quality puros to every seller of handcrafted cigars that wishes to share our products with their customers.

“We were blessed in 2019 to greatly expand our business and even with the C19 situation our growth continues unabated. Simultaneously this year, we like many of our peers have been dealing with unprecedented challenges that continue to compound the situation. In principle, I am not a believer in back orders, and while being backordered is not uncommon in our industry, the current level of demand we are experiencing is beginning to dramatically outstrip our ability to deliver cigars to our existing customers in what I regard as a timely manner. This is not good for their customers, so in turn, it is not ideal for them or ourselves.

“I am unwilling to sacrifice cigar quality at any level regardless of the situation, so unwisely accelerating production is not a solution. We always want to honor the needs of the accounts that have supported us for years, plus I want our newest Retailers to receive the same level of commitment and support. It is critical to all of us here in the DTT family that all of our customers, big and small, are afforded the same positive experience for their choosing to support us. At the current level of demand, I am fearful that we may not be able to serve the immediate needs of our current customers, but almost certainly we will be unable to afford any new accounts the quality of service and fulfillment that these new customers rightly deserve.

“So before it gets ‘ugly’, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our current customers to cease opening any new accounts. As I said at the beginning, this is a tough decision and not a welcomed one for me, but I know it is better to pause and to allow us to catch up, so when we can once again start serving the needs of new customers that their first experience with us be an overwhelmingly positive one.”