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This week’s episode is a special all-day marathon celebrating the three year anniversary of Stogie Geeks in support of Cigar Rights of America—fighting for your freedom to enjoy premium cigars. Go sign-up if you’re not already a member or renew your membership in the CRA today!


Interview: Paul Joyal, Ocean State Cigars

Paul Joyal is the owner and founder of Ocean State Cigars makers of J. Grotto Cigars. The company was launched in 2011 and has grown to four lines of cigars including the J. Grotto Series, the J. Grotto Reserva, the J. Grotto Silk, and the J. Grotto Anniversary. He is also the owner of Mr J’s Havana Shop located in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Interview: Robbie Streitz, AJ Fernandez Cigars

Robbie Streitz is the National Sales Manager from A.J. Fernandez Cigars. He joined the company in 2014. Previously Streitz served in a similar capacity when Esteban Carreras Cigars. Streitz, a lifetime cigar enthusiast and Southern California native received his start in the tobacco industry when he started his own radio show; the CigaRobbie Radio Show out of WTAN 1340 A.M. with the show broadcased in six Southeastern States.

Interview: Jana Mooney, The Humidor

Jana Mooney is the owner of The Humidor. The Humidor has multiple locations throughout the state of Rhode Island. Mooney comes from a family with many years experience on the retail side of the cigar industry. Her husband Dave is a representative of Villiger North America.

Interview: Glynn Loope, Cigar Rights of America

J. Glynn Loope is the Executive Director for Cigar Rights of America. In addition to being a passionate cigar enthusiast, he brings 20 years experience in government relations and public relations. Prior to assuming his role as CRA’s executive director, Glynn was the founder and president of Commonwealth Advance, LLC in Virginia – a leading government relations and business development consulting firm.

Interview: Nick Melillo, Melillo International

Nicholas Melillo is the owner of Melillo International. He is most notably known for his tenure at Drew Estate where hews an Executive Vice President of International Operations. He was with the company 11 years and ran the company’s Nicaraguan operations with a focus on blending, quality control, production, shipment, fementation, tobacco purchasing, and overall executive management. He is a graduate of Quinnipac University where he sits on the University’s International Business Advisory Council. He also owns a hotel in Nicaragua called Hotel Puro Esteli.

Interview: Seth Geise, Seth’s Humidor

Seth Geise is the owner of Seth’s Humidor as well as the co-founder of Habanos Critic and the What Embargo Show. In three years, Seth’s Humidor has become a leading online publication for cigar information. In 2014, Geise was involved in the launch of Habanos Critic and What Embargo to give a focus on the happenings in the Cuban cigar industry.

Interview: Phil Zanghi, Debonaire House

Phil Zanghi is the owner and co-founder of Debonaire House, known for the Debonaire Ultra Premium Cigar brand. He is also known as a co-founder in Indian Tabac – the company that eventually became Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. After a hiatus from the hand-rolled premium cigar industry, Zanghi returned to in 2012 and launched the the first Debonaire line.

Interview: Victor Vitale, Legacy Brands

Victor Vitale is the owner of Legacy Brands. This includes the Tortuga and Ora Vivo Cigar lines (the latter is a partnership with acclaimed film star Armand Assante). Vitale is a a fourth generation entrepreneur. Vitale started his career in the bakery business (Philadelphia, PA) but it was his Father’s love of premium cigars that inspired him to change his direction to the cigar industry. After 20 years experience in the cigar business, Vitale launched Legacy Brands in 2013 to focus on cigar production.

Interview: Logan Lawler, Cigar Federation

Logan Lawler is the owner of Cigar Federation and co-founder of the Cigar Chat show with Rob Rasmussen. In 2014, Cigar Chat joined the Armed Forced Radio Network and now owns the largest worldwide audience of any cigar-related broadcast. In 2013, Lawler and Rasmussen became the day to day operations managers of Cigar Federation, and in 2014 Lawler became the owner.

Interview: Todd LaScola, Havana Cigar Club

Todd LaScola is the co-owner of Havana Cigar Club located in Warwick, Rhode Island. Havana Cigar Club is a retail cigar shop, has both a member’s and public lounge, as well as a full service bar.

Interview: Rafael Nodal, Boutique Blends Cigars

Rafael Nodal is the owner of Boutique Blends Cigars. Nodal was also a partner in Oliveros Cigars. In 2012, the company rebranded itself as Boutique Blends Cigars with an emphasis on small batch production. In 2013, Nodal and his company’s Aging Room Quattro F55 was named Cigar Aficionado’s #2 Cigar of the Year.

What We Have Been Smoking

The complete list of all cigars discussed in this segment can be found on the Episode 118 Stogies Page.

Paul’s List

See Paul’s List, complete with pictures, ratings and mini-reviews on his Stogie Feed.

Will’s List

See Wil’s List, complete with pictures, ratings and mini-reviews on his Stogie Feed.

Mark, Jr.’s List

See Mark, Jr.’s List, complete with pictures, ratings and mini-reviews on his Stogie Feed.