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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 20)

Levin: Lots of phone calls. No knocks, phone calls. Not for the brand: the whole business, everything.

CA: So what goes through your mind?

Levin: I'm having too much fun right now. I mean everything is working. The new retail store is fantastic.

CA: So you're having a lot of fun.

Levin: A lot of fun. It's exciting. Every day is packed, busy.

CA: A question that I am always asked is, is the cigar boom a fad? You're here very excited with grand plans, and you're turning people away who want to buy your company. Do you think all this cigar-related frenzy will disappear?

Levin: There are no guarantees. But I don't see the boom ending soon. I personally think that we have a very strong future. The average age of cigar smokers, when I first came into the business, was the 50s, even the late 50s and 60s. Now you have people in their 30s, professionals, college students coming in. There are just more and more young people smoking cigars. If they enjoy cigars and they stick with cigars, we are going to have a very strong business for a long time.

CA: What part of your cigar business is

sales by the box as opposed to sales by the individual cigar?

Levin: We always, even in the old store, had a large room where we sold cigars from open boxes on display. More than most stores. So we always sold a large amount of loose cigars. In the new store, we don't have showcases with cigars. We have a large 1,200-square-foot walk-in humidor. So everything we sell is open on display, and a lot of people come in every day to buy their cigars.

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