I drive up and down I-95 on Florida’s east coast on a regular basis, going from Melbourne to Jacksonville to visit my grandchildren. Every time I make the trip I tell myself,I need to stop over at Don Kiki’s in Daytona Beach.This past Sunday, I finally made it happen and I am glad I did. For those of you that have made the trek over to this cigar palace you know what I am talking about, for those that are not familiar let me introduce you to the ultimate cigar destination in Daytona Beach,FL.
Don Kiki Cigar Superstore, is the brainchild of Henry “Kiki” Berger who was also the co-owner of two Cuban Crafters cigar shops in Miami. Don Kiki and his wife Karen opened the superstore about 5 years ago and brought to Daytona and the surrounding Volusia county, the largest humidor and cigar selection in the area. Sadly, Don Kiki passed away back in 2014 but Karen has kept the dream alive and has managed the brand along with her brother Carlos ever since. I am told that the Berger family no longer holds an interest in Cuban Crafters, Karen is focused on the shop and their cigar line.
The shop is located on the south end of Daytona Beach, on Atlantic Ave and is a building you can’t miss, with its huge curved front and bright red and yellow sign, and ample parking around the building. Once entering the shop through the front door, I immediately notice the dual, wrought iron and wood stair cases, that lead you to the second floor lounge, but we will get to that in a moment.
Looking around the front of the shop there are some things you don’t always see in cigar lounge. There a couple of Motorcycles for sale – yes this is Daytona beach, the home of Bike Week and Biketoberfest. You may also notice the shoe polishing seats off to your right. There are a variety of seating areas around the front and a coffee bar off to the left, past the front counter that has additional seating. I was there early Sunday afternoon, so there were just a few patrons in the shop who were friendly and welcoming. As in all good shops, there was friendly conversation and plenty of fun stories told by all.
I introduced myself and sat for a while at the coffee bar drinking the complementary Cuban coffee that is always available. I picked up Karen Berger’s signature cigar, the “K” by Karen for my stay, and proceeded to enjoy the conversation before touring the rest of the shop. I was not able to meet Karen during my stay but did have the pleasure of meeting her brother Carlos. He walked me through the cigar area which is estimated to have about 700 facings, so if you can’t find a cigar to please your palate at the Don Kiki Cigar Superstore, then I say you don’t like cigars! Like many shops in Florida, the cigars are laid out in the open air, lining the walls along with row after row of selection.
Walking back towards the front of the shop, I noticed a small glassed off area with a single rolling table. I was told that Karen, who is a master blender and roller, will sit at and ply her craft many a day or night.
Now it was time see the second floor, so up the stairs I go, and once at the landing I am greeted with a number of seating areas, a pool table, a poker table, and posters of Don Kiki, in case you forgot where you were. Turning around and looking down the landing you can see the whole shop below in all its glory with its huge front windows and glimpse of the blue ocean across the avenue. One can only imagine what this shop must be like when it is packed. Working my way back downstairs I just kept admiring the stair case. It is a work of art unto itself.
Now of course a visit to a shop is not complete with out hitting the rest room which I will say, was clean, spotless, and tidy. It may sound strange, but I like that in a shop, it shows the pride the owners have and respect for their patrons. I went back over to the coffee bar and injected myself into the conversation, finished my coffee and cigar, bid my new-found Brothers of the Leaf goodbye and hope to return again to the Don Kiki Cigar Superstore during my travels.
Karen, I am sorry I missed you on this trip, but I will see you again soon, you have a terrific shop! It is certainly one of the best I have ventured into.
By the way, Karen is about to give birth to a new daughter and we at Stogie Press congratulate you and your family and wish you the all the best.
Don Kiki Cigar Superstore is located at: