It’s a 4th of July Cigar Miracle! (EXTENDED)
These days, it can be hard to find hope that there’s still some good in the world. There’s a lot of madness out there. But even today, there are still incredible people, and sometimes you’ll find success in the strangest places. At least that was my experience today. Let me take you through what started out as a really stressful day, and ended up a complete win!
In This Video
In this video, I get to crack into a long awaited Alma Fuerte Robustus. It’s been insane trying to get ahold of a lot of cigars (especially popular cigars) recently as cigar makers are all working like dogs to get new sticks rolled and into the country. And that’s actually what this video is all about.
The World is Changing… Actually, It’s Changed.
One of my favorite parts of my job in the cigar world has always been ordering cigars to restock the shelves at Cigars Daily. It gives me the chance to catch up with the amazing people in the cigar industry, and imagine new cigar deals for the customers on Cigarsdaily.com. At least, I enjoyed it up until about the last year and a half.
Ever since the world came to a screeching halt in 2020, there have been supply chain issues in every industry, and the cigar world is no exception. Cigar makers were hit hard early on with lockdowns and pressure to limit personnel and in turn production. Plus, the issue has been compounded by the fact that people in the United States have been working from home a lot more, which means A LOT more cigar smoking. I couldn’t think of a better example of a supply and demand issue.
Fast forward a year and a half to today, there have been supply issues with nearly every cigar maker. You may have noticed this at your local cigar shop. I have a log of backordered cigars from the majority of manufacturers I work with. So when it comes to working out larger promotions, like the one that I usually do in conjunction with Cigars Daily LIVE, it requires a little more planning. And that’s the issue that popped up this week.
Missed it by THAT much.
I have been working with my representative at Plasencia Cigars for the last couple of months to set up an episode of Cigars Daily LIVE to feature Nestor Plasencia and Plasencia Cigars. We had to time the actual ordering of cigars to correspond with the arrival of a shipping container with new cigars. But the order had to arrive at the Cigars Daily HQ before the actual live episode with Nestor. The timing was cut close enough that we had to ship everything 3 day air, via UPS. That meant everything would arrive at the shop on the prior Friday, which was already cutting things pretty close.
Friday rolled around and I waited anxiously for our delivery (this is largely because in the middle of our supply and demand crisis, lots of shippers are struggling to keep up and things are going wrong in weird ways). Then, after my UPS driver stopped by for his delivery/pickup, my concerns were validated – no event cigars arrived!
I spent the rest of my Friday trying to get a hold of someone to see if the cigars were in town, but it seemed like everyone had taken off early for the holiday weekend because I couldn’t get ahold of anyone. This meant that none of the cigars would arrive until after the live episode with Nestor. And that was a massive issue for me because I am avidly opposed to selling anything I don’t have in the shop.
I Did NOT See That Coming!
On Saturday, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I have learned not to expect much from large 3rd party vendors – places like insurance companies, credit card companies, internet service providers, and at times even shipping companies. I figured that with the holiday weekend, there was little hope of getting anything resolved, but I tried anyway.
Then finally at 4:00 pm (3 hours after the main UPS distribution hub had closed), I got ahold of a phone number where someone actually picked up. Much to my amazement, the UPS worker was able to confirm that my packages were at his building, and he even agreed to go look for them.
I sat on hold for about 20 minutes, which for an impatient millennial like me felt like an eternity. But to my surprise, the UPS guy came back on and told me that he had found my boxes. And he even agreed to let me come down and pick them up… 3 HOURS after they had closed!
A Glimmer of Hope Restored
I was so excited to get the cigars that I needed for the episode with Nestor. It’s one more thing that will be off my mind as I head into the holiday weekend. But more than that, I was impressed by a guy who works for a massive company. He had no substantial reason to go out of his way to help me. When most people would have been checked out and already mentally celebrating the 4th of July, he went above and beyond. I wasn’t honestly sure there were people like that out there anymore.
Now I get to kick off my weekend with some peace, and a sense that things all over the place are not as bad as I thought they were. And I hope your weekend, like mine, goes as well as it possibly can and is filled with some amazing cigars!