Lane: Welcome everyone to Cigar Cafe Radio. We have a special guest on with us today. Clint Aaron owner of 262 cigars. Clint thanks for joining us today. Harris and I are smoking the 262 Allegiance today.
Harris: Clint tell us a little bit about how you got into the cigar business.
Clint Aaron: I really wanted to pursue something I am passionate about. I was not excited about accounting. It was a quarter life crisis. The 262 Paradigm was my first blend.
Lane: Tell us about your new crowdsourcing cigar project.
Clint Aaron: The plan is to release one blend per quarter and let people vote on which is the best and should be regular production. I want to give the consumers input into the process. These cigars will be made in very short runs 300 cigars or so each quarter. They will be sold in 5 packs for $35 ($7 per cigar).
Lane: from Cigar geek to cigar manufacturer
What does the 262 name mean?
Clint Aaron: February of 1962 is the date JFK signed the Cuban Embargo. JFK was a big cigar smoker and made sure he had all the Cuban H.Upmann cigars he needed before signing the Cuban Embargo. Its about how we are all adults and should be able to enjoy a legal product without the government getting involved.
Harris: Clint what was your first cigar?
Clint Aaron: Ashton Classic Corona was my first cigar. I also enjoy Rocky Patel, Oliva, I’ll try anything. That’s the beauty of cigars! There are so many out there to try.
Harris: What other cigars do you like to smoke now other than 262?
Clint Aaron: I mainly smoke the smaller brands and try to support my peers (the little guys) El Primer Mundo, 724, Tatuaje etc.
Harris: What would you tell us on why consumers should support your brand 262 over the big guys?
Clint Aaron: I give everyone my cell phone number. People actually have access to me. I’m adaptable, accessible, nimble
Lane: How is it being new in the cigar industry? Is it tough to get good tobacco?
Clint: It’s not to difficult. The timeline is the most challenging. Its a slow process and makes it hard to plan. I like to plan.
Harris: What new projects are in the works for 262 cigars?
Clint: The biggest thing is the intern program we talked about. Also updating and rebranding the 262 Allegiance line to make the band a little smaller.
Harris: What are your thoughts on the FDA regulation of premium cigars?
Clint Aaron: The FDA can do whatever they want. CRA and the IPCPR are doing a great job. They are getting the word out about the huge financial impact this will have on the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua (major cigar producing countries) maybe this will make a difference.
Harris: Would you consider adding Cuban tobacco to your blends if it were available?
Clint Aaron: Yes if it works with my blends
Harris: What is your schedule like?
Clint Aaron: I’m really trying to stay home more. I was on the road 200+ days last year