Editorial – A Warm Stogie Press Thank You to All!

I would like to take this moment to thank all the sponsors, associates, subscribers, and followers of Stogie Press for your support and continued encouragement to keep Stogie Press alive and running these past 5 years. On behalf of the whole Stogie Press crew, I wish you and your familiess a terrific Thanksgiving Holiday.

After 5 years, Stogie Press has grown more than I ever imagined when we embarked on this journey. The journey continues and the many new friends I have met through this adventure have been second to none. So this Thanksgiving, I would like to say THANK YOU, I raise my glass to you!


Mike Bellody, from MLB Cigar Ventures, I thank you for being the first Stogie Press sponsor and believing in our mission. Your everlasting support is sincerely appreciated. I thank you for a great dinner in Las Vegas this year and thanks for always stopping by the lounge when you are in town to drink some whiskey and smoke some cigars after breaking bread with my  bride Dianne and I.

Fransisco Almonte, from DBL Cigars, I thank you for your continued support and being the second sponsor of the site. Your generosity and hospitality when we visited Santiago years ago will always be remembered, I learned a lot about the inner workings from that trip.

Javier and Francisco
Javier and Francisco

The Rodriguez Family, from Tabacalera El Artista, I thank you for an amazing walk through the seed to palate process and providing me the opportunity to greet and shake hands with one of Major League Baseball’s greats – David Ortiz. 

El Artista

Fouad Kashouty and Nasir Dakrat, from Hiram & Solomon Cigars, I thank you for your support and sharing your secrets with me. I thoroughly enjoyed the cigars and scotch cruise we went on this year, thank you for inviting me to such  a pleasurable experience.

Schooner Lily
Schooner Lily

Val Atakhanian, from DAV Cigars, I thank you for your support and friendship, especially picking me up in airports in NYC and driving to Maxi’s Cigar Lounge in Franklyn Square, NY and introducing me to the Conquistador Cigar Parlor. – the newest shop in Brooklyn, NY.

Boston Jimmie and Val

Jim Faber, Reed Grafke and Raymond Zinar, from Providencia Cigars, I thank you for being the latest Stogie Press Sponsor this year. I thank you for your amazing friendship and turning the Texas Cigar world onto Stogie Press as we have turned the cigar world onto Providencia Cigars. 

Ray and Jim
Ray and Jim

Kevin Schweitzer, from Rock-A-Feller Cigars, I thank you for taking a chance with Stogie Press and growing into a true friend. I want to thank you also for spending a day with me this past October to drive me out to Queens NY to visit Harry’s Habana Hut and to the Bronx, NY to visit Maduro Cigar Lounge. Thank you also for spending time with me on calls to discuss investing and market trends in this crazy year on wall street.

Kevin Schweitzer

Steven Bailey and Courtney Smith from Cornelius & Anthony Cigars, I thank you for all the support you have provided and being a continuous sponsor of Stogie Press. I also want to thank Courtney for including my name in the invite list to La Zona Palooza, allowing me time, to tell my story to Erik Espinosa last year.

La Zona Palooza 2017
La Zona Palooza 2017

John Piette and Matt Plummer from Isabela Cigar Company, I thank you for signing up with Stogie Press last year. I know we have yet to meet each other face to face, but we should plan to do that soon. 

Isabela StarDust
Isabela StarDust

I would also like to thank the RabbitAir  team for sponsoring Stogie Press and providing a RabbitAir smoke eater for the Stogie Press lounge. It has made quite a difference in the lounge.

I would also like to give a shout out to one of our previous sponsors, Diany Perez , Alex Basulto, and Charlie Lopez from Yayabo Cigars. They were a two-year sponsor but due to issues beyond their control, they were unable to renew their sponsorship. I  thank you just the same and also want to say thank you for bringing my wife and I down to Esteli early this year and showing us your operations and to celebrate the Yayabo company’s anniversary. 

El Yayabo Cigars

Special Friends

This list could go on forever, just look at the list on my Facebook or Instagram site. However, there are a number of people that have provided
support, education, and encouragement to me throughout the years and I want to say thank you to them.

Ryan Gallimore – I would like to thank you for all the early introductions to the industry and helping me launch the original site. Your spark ignited the flame that is now Stogie Press. I thank you for bringing me into the formation team of Save the Leaf, which was an important part in getting the word out about the overbearing FDA regulations on our beloved industry.

Save The Leaf
The Big Man Ryan Gallimore thinking about today’s work and event

Alton Otto – one of my very best friends and fellow BOTL. I thank you for the many cigar exchanges over the years and spending time together herfing in the Stogie Press lounge and your home. I always look forward to the time we spend discussing cigars and life in general and Ziggy does too. Thank you for including Dianne and I in your wedding celebration this year.

Paradise Cigarz 7th Anniversary
Paradise Cigarz 7th Anniversary

Anthony Pace – another great friend and BOTL of mine. Thank you for spending time and talking stocks, cigars, engineering, and enjoying some fine ass whiskeys over the past  3 years. Even though you live across the country now, I thank you for taking the time to find your way over to the SPL whenever you are in town. Anthony, you are like a son to me.

La Zona Palooza 2017
Anthony Pace at La Zona Palooza 2017

Mike Bruce – I thank you for bumping into me in Dublin Ireland this year and turning me onto some great Irish Whiskeys as I shared some fine cigars with you and your beautiful wife Kim. Thank you for spending the morning and afternoon of my 59th birthday this year as we visited Leaf and Bean in Pittsburgh, PA.  Thank you for finding an evening to stop by my place during your latest visit to FL and also the many weekend and evening video calls smoking and reviewing cigars with me.

Mike Bruce
Mike Bruce

Steve Ajhar my long time BOTL and friend, I thank you for always staying in touch and visiting when you are in town. Thank you for the many nights of poker and cigars at Ashes Cigar Lounge. Thanks for joining me as we shared cigars and good times at some of the great Florida cigar events this past year. I also want to thank you for sharing your excellent knowledge of cigars over the last decade.

Miami Mega Herf 2018
Miami Mega Herf 2018

Kennedy Achille from Stogie TV, I want to thank you for including me and inviting me as a special guest to the last 2 Black Smoke Miami events. Through those events, I had the distinct opportunity to meet some of the most amazing BOTLs and SOTLs in this country. Everywhere I visit I meet people who met me at those events and follow Stogie Press. I also want to thank you for the many educational videos you produce that help the consumer better know and understand cigars.

Black Smoke Miami 2018 - Cuban Crafters event
Black Smoke Miami 2018 – Cuban Crafters event

Melvin Bossman Robinson – the BOTL that shows up in so many selfies. I thank you for filling my camera with photos and always promoting Stogie Press.  I also thank you for crawling the streets of Esteli with me early in the year.

Yayabo Tobacco Bales

William Cooper – Coop, I thank you for offering me guidance in creating the Stogie Press rating system and for being a terrific BOTL and friend. I thank you for driving over to Charlotte, NC to enjoy the Tailored Smoke Experience and thank you for the box of cigars for my 59th birthday.

William Cooper and Preston Gray
William Cooper and Preston Gray

Robert and Sharon Holt, from Southern Draw Cigars, I thank you for being some of the most genuine people I know in this business. I thank you for what you are doing with your “charity through cigars” work in Esteli, Nicaragua. Robert, I  thank you for always taking the time to stop by the Stogie Press lounge whenever you are in Melbourne, FL

Robert and Sharon Holt
Robert and Sharon Holt

There are so many more I could go on all day, but just know that I thank all my fellow BOTLs and SOTLs for the times we have spent together enjoying cigars and solving the world’s problems.

Shop Owners and Managers

Without cigar shops and lounges many of us would not have a place to relax and enjoy time with fellow cigar lovers. I would like to thank my local shop owners and managers for providing environments to enjoy our lifestyle.

Tony Nardone and Erica Everett from Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge, I thank you for decades of smoking experience and friendship here in downtown Melbourne FL. I also thank you for offering Melbourne the newest and largest lounge in Brevard County. 

CAO Amazon Basin Trilogy Event
Tony Nardone

Brook Cox and Suzy Zook from Paradise Cigars, I thank you for running a warm and welcoming lounge in Rockledge, FL where “everyone knows your name”. I also would like to thank you for being the only shop in my local area that carries Yayabo Cigars. 

Paradise Cigarz 7th Anniversary
Paradise Cigarz 7th Anniversary with Brook Cox on Right

Brian Berk and Benjamin Grynbaum from The Mancave Cigar Lounge, Fort Lauderdale, FL, I thank you for the fine days and nights of smoking cigars and enjoying the many outstanding cigar events you all have hosted. I would also like to thank you for contracting my wife’s marketing company to create the many event graphics.

Jim Files from Jimmy’s Cigar Lounge in Melbourne, Fl, I thank you for many great events and a clean comfortable lounge for relaxing and conversing over cigars.  I also want to thank you for being the liberal voice with me in those conversations. 

Michael McWilliams from Michael’s Liquor and Tracy’s Lounge in Suntree, FL, I thank you for providing a great venue for playing free poker, live bands, and a terrific outdoor deck to smoke my favorite cigars. I thank you for trusting my judgment in selecting some of the brands that you have brought into your humidor. 

John Carone from Don Yeyo Cigars, Dearborn MI, I thank you and your whole staff and fine group of patrons for welcoming a cigar smoking  Boston Red Sox fan into your lounge. Don Yeyo has always been my go to stop whenever I am on business in Dearborn and  I enjoy every visit.

Most Important

I would like to thank my bride and love of my life, Dianne Vita, for many years of encouragement when things get a little difficult and supporting my cigar lifestyle. Without you, Stogie Press would never have been launched. You are my webmaster, photographer, chef, English professor, and loving partner.

Of course a big Thank You to my loyal dog Ziggy Stardust who keeps me company as I work on Stogie Press. Your love is never ending.