Often when we talk about cigar companies, it’s all about unearthing their rich history and how they have some of the “most luxurious cigars in the world”. But, by their own admission, that’s not Alec Bradley’s story.
Alec Bradley was founded in 1996 by Alan Rubin – named after his children. If you’re familiar with your cigar industry history, you’ll know that this was right as the cigar boom of the ‘90s was ending. Not exactly an ideal time to start a business. Still, Rubin’s passion for cigars wasn’t going to be stopped by this roadblock. A chance encounter in 1998 with a fellow cigar industry professional, Ralph Montero, lead to a partnership. Their first cigar together was the Occidental Reserve, refocusing Alec Bradley away from targeting golfers to creating a premium cigar for specialty shops. It was a success.
With the Occidental Reserve winning over new fans, the company also had new life. Energized, Rubin and Montero began making even bolder choices as they followed up the Occidental with the Trilogy – a triangular shaped cigar that feels like a 46 ring but has the weight of a 50 ring. It was a cigar of Rubin’s own design, building his own mold after getting inspiration one a trip to Home Depot. Rubin’s innovative, fresh approach to cigars has been key to their success through today. The company went from being $60k in debt to selling millions of cigars per year.
But sales aren’t the only measurement of success. Alec Bradley is a different breed of a cigar company, creating a different path than the legacy brands that have been around for generations. Quality, however, has not been something they’ve ever skimped on. The company places strict quality control measures to make sure each cigar is up to their own high standards from beginning to end. The process for choosing the leave wrappers alone is intense - taking the time to sort the leaves by color, size, and type before they’re aged. Even when they’re being packaged up for sale, Alec Bradley takes the time to have their employees wrap each stogie in cellophane individually before placing them in the box.
When it comes to smoking, Alec Bradley is focused on the experience more than anything else. Even on their website, they have an entire section dedicated to customers and smokers to share their life changing moments when smoking a cigar – not just stories about Alec Bradley cigars, either. That’s because while they value quality, they’re not pretentious either. It’s one of the company’s best qualities. They make it easy for someone to come in for the pure joy of smoking, not for status.
Alec Bradley’s story is inspiring because through whatever circumstances they’ve been thrown, they’ve stayed true to their mission. Even as the cigar boom faded away, their love of cigars propelled them forward and helped define a new era in the cigar industry. The next time you’re lighting up a Texas Lancero or a Tempus, take some time to think about the 20 year journey that led you to smoking that stogie.
Feeling ready to try an Alec Bradley cigar for yourself? Well, we’ve got some good news. On May 11, we’ll be taking 20% off all Alec Bradley boxes. Plus, we’ll even throw in a free four pack. Don’t miss out on this deal – snag your discounted Alec Bradley cigars today!