Visiting the CI Superstore
Last week I made mentioned that I attended a seminar at the Cigars International Superstore in which Cristian Eiroa spoke to several groups and educated us on the Camacho brand of cigars. This was my second time at the CI Superstore and it was quite different from my first.
A couple of months ago I got a private message on the Nub Live forum from a friend, Rob, that I attended Cigar Fest with. He knew that I was in the general area of the Superstore and asked if it would be possible for me to shoot on over and pick him up some Nub samplers that CI was practically giving away.
The samplers Rob needed to get his hands on were for a contest he was running, so I made plans to make a very quick trip up to CI. I had some things going on that day so my time was of the essence. I raced in, picked up about ten samplers and raced back out the door.
I wasn’t inside long enough to really take in how big the store actually was. Fast forward a couple of months and here I am on my way back to the Superstore for the Camacho Seminar. I was driving along with father, telling him that this time I wanted to take it all in and see what the Superstore was all about.
We arrived after about an hour long drive and made our way inside the barn like structure. As I stepped inside and began to peer towards the back of the store I couldn’t believe I rushed through this place so fast the first time around. As you enter the first thing you see is a huge glass island where many high end cigars and accessories are kept.
Beyond the island of glass display cases there is an elevated members lounge. From the front door not much of the lounge can be seen. However what jumps out at this point are the thousands of cigars which line the outside walls of the store. The outside walls are broken up with partitions to segregate the cigars of one manufacturer from those of another.
Between each partition is a display of even more cigars. As I walked up and down the store I couldn’t believe just how many cigars were being stored in this mammoth store. Virtually anything in the catalog could be purchased from the store. Pre packaged sample packs were everywhere, all with the same pricing that you would find online.
After about a half hour of staring at the incredible selection, I got to talking with the Director of Retail Operations, Matt Cook. From Matt I learned that the entire store is both air conditioned, for comfort, and humidified, for keeping the cigars. While this seems like a bit of an uphill battle, they somehow make it all work. I also learned that since the store itself is humidified, it boasts an incredible 5,000 square foot humidor.
Being that I’m a nerd and I had my camcorder with me, I asked Matt if he would mind me doing a little virtual tour that I could share with the Stogie Review family. Matt quickly agreed and I planned to start recording after the seminar with Christian.
Once the seminar was complete I got to filming. I walked up to each segmented area and quickly panned over all of the cigars. As I moved from one area to the next with my camcorder, recording, I heard the occasional custom mention to the staff that there was some crazy guy with a camera taking video of the store. The staff kindly informed them that I was with Stogie Review and that it was alright.
Hearing the customer tell on me was actually pretty cool. It showed that the people shopping at the store felt at home enough that they wanted to protect what they had. I can’t see a competitor coming into a business to record prices very often, but the customers and staff were definitely on top of things just in case that was the case.
After all of my recording was finished I tracked down Matt and thanked him once again for allowing me to record both the store, and Christian seminar. I couldn’t have felt more comfortable with the CI Staff and the Camacho guys. Everyone was very professional and very nice as well. Even with the store being an hour away, I’ll definitely be making it a point to stop in from time to time.
Below is the end result of my video tour. Its kind of corny, in a man walking around with a camera set to music kind of way, but I think it does a good job of showing just how big this place is.
Just like when you are in Vegas, visiting Casa Fuente is a must for a cigar smoker, you should make it a point to visit the Superstore if you ever find yourself in Eastern PA.
What is the biggest cigar store you have ever been to?
Would you care to tell us about it