Photo Credit: Bear Duplisea for Cigar Coop

2021 marked the sixth year since Nicholas Melillo launched Foundation Cigars. One can make the case this has been one of the quieter years for Melillo in terms of product innovation. It also was a year where Foundation did not attend any Trade Shows and one where Foundation has found a major fan of its products.

While there are many reasons why companies skipped the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade show, Melillo’s said his reasons for staying home were “business and familial.” Melillo reiterated that he continues to support the PCA and looks forward to returning. One thing that was unique is when Melillo announced Foundation was staying home, PCA Executive Director Scott Pearce gave a statement in the press release. This was highly unusual, but nonetheless confirming the support Foundation and PCA have with each other.

“I have met with Nick and know of his and Foundation’s commitment to PCA and to the retailer community,” said Scott Pearce, PCA Executive Director. “And while several unforeseen circumstances led to Foundation unable to exhibit at the PCA trade show this year, Foundation has stepped up in other areas of support for PCA and all of our advocacy efforts. I look forward to Foundation’s booth back on the show floor next year and in continuing to work with Nick,” Pearce said.

While there wasn’t a major release by Foundation in 2021, what was interesting is that Foundation Cigar products have been showing up on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Rogan had been seen on his podcast enjoying Foundation Cigars. In fact, Melillo would send Rogan two custom hand-painted boxes for Joe on top of The Wise Man Maduro cigar. One with his logo and another box showing Joe as a Nicaraguan shaman. Rogan showed off the gift on his podcast. The interaction with Melillo represents a huge opportunity for a small company like Foundation to get visibility on a national, mainstream podcast with a huge reach.

There were two special extensions to Foundation products that were released this summer.  Earlier in the summer, Foundation would release The Wise Man Maduro Firecracker, part of United Cigars’ Series Unidas Firecracker Series. This is a 3 1/2 x 50 Short Robusto with a long fuse based on The Wise Man Maduro blend. Each year, United Cigars works with a different company to release a cigar for the series.

There are a couple of things unique about The Wise Man Maduro Firecracker. One thing that is unique about this edition of The Wise Man Maduro Firecracker is a rounded parejo while the other regular production sizes are box-pressed offerings. Second, this is a cigar that was distributed and sold through United Cigars. According to reports, United will sell out of its inventory of the cigar.

Photo Credit: Supplied by United Cigars

Another series that Foundation participated in is the JR 50th Anniversary collection. Online retailer JR Cigar is celebrating 50 years in business and is also collaborating with leading manufacturers and brands to release special cigars through 2021. The cigar is called the El Güegüense JR 50th Collector’s Edition. It’s a 6 1/4 x 46 cigar based on Foundation’s El Güegüense 5 Year Aniversario blend.

Photo Credit: Supplied by JR Cigar

Product Reports

Video Credit: Joe Rogan Experience via Foundation Cigar Company