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An Interview With Robert Levin

Owner, Holt's Cigar Store, Inc., and the Ashton Brand
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Danny DeVito, Winter 96

(continued from page 12)

Levin: Yes. I didn't want to just have my own brand. I didn't want a private brand. I wanted a national brand that was everywhere.

CA: Were you in 50 accounts, 100 accounts?

Levin: We started out very slowly. I don't remember exactly. But Ashton was really the first superpremium cigar.

CA: What did you sell Ashton for in those days in terms of average price?

Levin: The regular line of Ashton in the Churchill size was about $2.50, and now it's $6. The smaller ones went from $1.70 to $2.25. It was really the first superpremium on the market.

CA: Were there any higher-priced cigars on the market?

Levin: We were one of the highest, and when the Ashton Cabinets were released, they were the highest-priced cigars.

CA: So in 1988 you left Tabadom for the Fuentes.

Levin: Yes.

CA: What was the rationale behind the move?

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