As I announced last Thursday, Bruce Lewis has been appointed Toraño Family Cigar’s new VP of Sales and Marketing. I had the opportunity to speak with Bruce later that day and we discussed the future of Toraño Family Cigar’s marketing and media plans among other things.
Tom: How does it feel to be moving on to Toraño Family Cigar’s?
Bruce: Friday is my last day at CAO. Leaving CAO is bittersweet but, Toraño is a great fit and an exciting opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with a family oriented company.
Tom: What are your plans as Toraño Family Cigar’s new VP of Sales and Marketing?
Bruce: We want to have more and better communication with retailers, consumers and the media. We have a new marketing team in place and plan on using the social media platforms more. We will also be more diligent in updating our revamped website.
Tom: With all the recent changes in distribution; you’re company included, some of your competitors have lowered prices on selected blends. Do you have similar plans?
Bruce: I think Toraño Family Cigar’s blends are at some excellent price points. The Brigade will be priced at $2.80 dollars a stick, the Master will be priced at $5 – $5.85 dollars a stick and the Single Region will be $6 – 7dollars a stick.
Premium cigars are an affordable luxury in the US as opposed to Europe and Australia. The taxes are much higher over there and that makes cigars available to only the highest wage earners.
The US cigar consumers on the other hand, come from every walk of life and are open to trying new cigars and actually expect new products more than once a year.
Tom: Your biography mentions new product development for General Cigar, will you be doing the same for Toraño Family Cigar’s?
Bruce: I’ve always been involved in the backend / blending side of the business. I have worked alongside Charlie Toraño on the Exodus 1959 50 Year blend and the new blends announced for this year.
I would like to thank Bruce Lewis for his time during the interview and congratulate him on his new role with the Toraño Family Cigar Company.
In other Toraño Family Cigar Company news, I was happy to learn that Armando Lapido will also move from CAO to Toraño and will continue to be a Regional Sales Manager. Part of Armando’s territory was the Tampa Bay area and it will continue to be this way with Toraño.
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