Tabacalera USA, the U.S.-based premium cigar operations of Imperial Brands plc, is creating a new business unit to support company-owned and licensed-based retail partnerships using the Casa de Montecristo retail brand name – and it is acquiring well-known Texas cigar retailer Serious Cigars.
According to Javier Estades, the head of Tabacalera USA, “The new business unit will be known as Casa de Montecristo Inc. I am also proud to announce that Rob Maneson has been appointed General Manager of the new division.” Maneson, a veteran tobacco industry manager, was previously VP Retail Operations for MC Management in Whippany, N.J., an affiliated Tabacalera USA company.
“The Casa de Montecristo program has been nearly a decade in the making,” Maneson said, noting that the first Casa de Montecristo location opened in 2008.
“Casa de Montecristo includes company-owned stores and licensed-based partnerships and includes such top established premium cigar retailers in the country as Casa de Montecristo Chicago; Casa de Montecristo by Smoke Inn, based in Boynton Beach, Fla; and Prime Cigar by Casa de Montecristo, based in Miami,” Maneson said. “The creation of this new business unit under the Tabacalera USA umbrella will help coordinate and enhance the adult premium cigar smoker experience in all Casa de Montecristo stores.”
Houston-Based Serious Cigars Acquired
The addition of premium cigar retailer Serious Cigars, LLC, adds to the luster of the Montecristo name. Serious Cigars has four locations in the Houston metro area, and an online e-Commerce retail website, www.seriouscigars.com.
“Owners Ron and JeanneMarie Lesseraux have built one of the finest retail premium cigar businesses in the country and we are thrilled to have them as part of our business,” Maneson said. “Serious Cigars has a strong reputation in the industry, which we will continue to grow.”
Serious Cigars LLC began as a small online retail business in 1996. In 2003, the Lesserauxs recognized the need for a better cigar experience in the Houston area and opened its first of four locations in the Champions area of the city.
“Since then we have enjoyed working very hard in our industry and building what we feel is a great business for our customers, employees and suppliers,” Ron Lesseraux said. Fortunately for Casa de Montecristo, Ron and JeanneMarie will be staying on with the business to help ensure a smooth transition.
“No substantial changes are planned for the retail stores or website,” Maneson said, “and both will continue to deliver the excellent customer experience that adult premium cigar smokers in Houston are accustomed to.”