At first I though it was another prank of some sort. Fred has been known to be a bacon lover, cigar smoking prankster. This time it was true. I had to read the email I got from Fred three times, just to be sure I read it correctly. Nomad Cigars, one of the staple Boutique Lines out on the market was sold.
Nomad Cigars has been Fred Rewey’s baby since 2012, and he grew it from a single blend with one vitola to 16 blends and 46 SKUs on humidor shelves around the country. That success did not come easy, as Fred would spend plenty of time out of the U.S ., away from the familiar comforts of his Orlando, Florida home and familiy. Fred explained his passion and love for the cigar business in an open letter to the cigar community:
“When I started Nomad in 2012, I had no idea where it would go. I was just another cigar enthusiast with an eagerness to learn more about the process in a hands-on fashion.
In my case, with an extensive marketing background, the creation of Nomad was never about money, it was a labor of love and passion for cigars. It meant checking the ego at the border and spending time in the fields and factories learning all I could.
Working with some of the best factories and true Master blenders took my knowledge to levels I never would have predicted. Along the way I have made friends that will last a lifetime”
Over the five years in the media side of the business, I have come to know Fred and I can honestly say, his words are as sincere as they come.
Fred continues in his letter to explain how the incredible Nomad Cigar growth gave birth to numerous areas of responsibility. He humbly notes:
“Instead of an exclusive focus on marketing, first-hand interaction with consumers, and blending cigars (the parts I love), it turned into bookkeeping, sales projections, and government compliance.
Frankly, the company grew to a point that my attention was pulled in different directions and wearing unlimited ‘hats’. Which, in the back of my mind, could someday equate to something being missed.
I never cut any corners with Nomad. I never left anything on the table and kept quality as the highest priority…well below bottom line profits.“
I was once told by a very smart businessman, there is really just one reason to open a business and that is to eventually sell it, hopefully for a profit and then build another. Nomad Cigars had been approached numerous times over the years with inquiries to sell it. Fred knew if he was ever going to sell Nomad Cigars, the buyer would have to have the same passion as he has about the business, especially the boutique cigar business. The buyer would have to have the same un-sacrificing core beliefs and fully understand the brand.
It was these tenets, that led Fred Rewey to sell Nomad Cigars to Ezra Zion Cigars. Fred could not say it any better as he did in his letter to the industry:
“I have known Chris and Kyle with Ezra Zion for several years. Worked side-by-side with them when we were together at Emilio Cigars [now Boutiques Unified]. Although there will be many more details coming out over the next several days, I can say that I feel confident not only in them taking Nomad Cigar Company to the next level, but also preserving what has brought it to this point.”
At the end of the letter, Fred offered his sincere thanks “to all the Nomad retailers, consumers, and other manufacturers that have been so supportive all these years – I couldn’t have done it without you. ”
Of course, as one chapter ends, other yet to be written chapters will begin. As I sit here writing this, I can say Fred will not be riding into the sunset on his iron horse. No way! Fred will be active in the cigar industry in some manner, some capacity, some way – that allows him to let his unique skill set shine. That is what our industry does, it keeps the doors open for those who want, can knock and start that next chapter.
Good Luck @Godfadr, I am sure I will see you up at Corona’s in the future.