Friday, August 20, 2010

Habana Port Cigar Merchants to Open Next Week!


Greetings, friends of Habana Port! Today we are pleased to announce that we will soft-open our Covington shop's doors next Friday, August 27, 2010 at 10:00 AM. We look forward to serving you all! As a special bonus, the first ten customers who walk in that day will receive a complimentary cigar! So be sure to line up early, get those cigar cutters and briar pipes set and get ready for Habana Port Cigar Merchants' opening.

We want to thank all those now who helped us in our cigar journeys. There are too many of you to list but our family is very grateful.

Until the next post, siempre fumando,

Habana Port

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

IPCPR Trade Show & Convention 2010


Greetings, friends of Habana Port. In today's post, we at Habana Port wanted to report on last week's 78th Annual IPCPR Trade Show & Convention that occurred at the Convention Center in New Orleans, LA on August 9 - 13, 2010.

For those who are not aware, the IPCPR (short for International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association) is the trade group that represents premium cigar and pipe retailers. This organization is a major force in our beloved industry. This is text from their website that discusses the who, what, when, where, why and how about IPCPR:

The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association is a not-for-profit trade association organized as the advocate for the independent retail tobacconist and recognized as the "Voice of Authority and Reason" on premium tobacco related issues.


1. provides its members with assistance to fight repressive and onerous tobacco legislation at all levels.

2. acts as the conduit to bring manufacturers and retailers together in mutually advantageous business relations.

3. makes available for its members information on resources, market data, research, services and product information which will help in the profitable operations of their businesses.

Since 1933, the IPCPR has been the leading association for the retail tobacconist, dedicated to protecting the interests of its members, keeping them informed about the industry and giving them the tools they need to succeed.
We at Habana Port attended this year's convention to open accounts with cigar and pipe manufacturers and to place our initial orders. We attended a few seminars, made the CRA's "Great American Cigar Shops" group, had another CRT certification through Tobacconist University and saw old friends and made new ones. This is the time of year the majority of new products are unveiled as well. We had the chance to sample these new releases and we are happy to inform our customers that we will offer many of these new gems. Come back to our blog to see the new cigars and pipes coming our way!

All in all, this was a productive show for us and we know our customers will benefit from our attendance.

Enjoy a few of the pictures we took while at IPCPR.
What a pipe selection from Nording, the famous Danish pipe maker.

Hanging with Erik Nording & son behind Nording's famous "large pipe made of pipes."
Our newest CRT posing with Jorge and Chris from TU.
Our shop owner posing with Dion and Jimmy of Illusione.

Until the next post, siempre fumando,

Habana Port

Monday, August 9, 2010

Shop Buildout, Part VIII

Industrial Signs puts the finishing touches to our outdoor sign.


Greetings, friends of Habana Port. Last week was a very productive one. We are rushing but diligently setting up the shop with its fixtures and furniture before we can go on to receiving tobacco and other tobacconist-related inventory. We are currently awaiting our proper permits for conducting tobacco-related business in the great State of Louisiana but in the meantime we are keeping busy hammering out the non-tobacco related building needs.

In this segment of our "Buildout" series, we see that the shop and its Construction Needs are totally finished; Industrial Signs comes in to affix our facade signage; our satellite TV is installed; our furniture comes in; and we bring in some electronics (for the TV and speakers) and other hardware. The Layout Phase has taken some planning and now we are executing before we begin the Merchandising of the Cigar Shop step.

Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for the final chapters on "How to Build Out a Cigar Shop."

August 3, 2010

The shop is clean. The Lounge and Checkout area.

The Front part of the Lounge.

The Sign Company is here!

These guys bring heavy equipment.

The portion of the sign that will illuminate come night time.

Call in the cavalry.

The technicians install the box that will house the LED lights that will illuminate Habana Port.

I'm ready for my face lift.

Look up in the sky...

The tech is ready to attach the face to the box.

Aligning it right is difficult in this +100o weather.


The Front Facade.

The Sign heralds our presence.

August 4, 2010

The Installer for Direct TV is setting up the lounge.

August 5, 2010

The Furniture comes in today.

The pub table and chairs will be perfect for those wishing to play poker, chess or to throw down some bones.

Our routed logo above the entrance to the Humidor adds a nice touch.

Our logo.

We bring in some of the store equipment and electronics.

The Checkout Station.

The lounge is starting to fill in.

The Humidor Entrance.

Habana Port would like to take this time to thank the wonderful people at Industrial Signs for doing such a great job for us. These guys have been illuminating New Orleans since 1929. Check them out for your signage needs.

Until the next post, siempre fumando,

Habana Port

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shop Buildout, Part VII

The Final Building Inspections have been approved.


Greetings, friends of Habana Port! We come back today to our recurring series on how to construct a cigar shop as we invite you behind the scenes of the buildout of Habana Port's Covington, LA location. In today's post, we see the flooring is finished, our fixtures begin to come in and our inspections are finalized. We are close to finishing the construction and can then begin setting up the fixtures for the merchandising that has yet to have occurred. Enjoy the pictures and witness the creation of a cigar shop.

July 22, 2010

Our contractor installs the insulation above the ceiling tiles.

Another view. Notice this room has yet to have carpet.

Our pipe cabinet is waiting patiently in the smoking lounge.

The cigarette/small item cabinet is also waiting patiently in the lounge.

The humidor is getting its ceiling insulation. Still no electricity.

Tomorrow this room will receive its commercial-grade carpet.

July 23, 2010

Another day, another dollar.

The Humidor's Entrance.

The Humidor is well-lit now.

The lounge is a mess now but it will clear away soon.

The carpet is installed as well as the vinyl baseboard. Much cleaner.

The Retail Area.

July 24, 2010

More fixtures and the Checkout Station have arrived.

It is important that a humidor never employs florescent lighting as it is harmful to and bleaches the cigars.

Now that the billboard is up, we want the public to know that we will be opening soon.

July 27, 2010

The Retail section with another cabinet that we had constructed with the remnant Spanish cedar. Notice the cabinets we had made have been stained to a darker color to match the wainscot.

Looking good.

Another view of the Humidor.

Our talented carpenter constructs our Pipe Tobacco cabinet and display fixture.

July 28, 2010

The Pipe Tobacco cabinet begins receiving its stain treatment.

The Checkout Station.

The Retail Section.

Looking towards the front of the Unit.

Another view of the Pipe Tobacco Cabinet.

Our Final Building Inspection Placard announces the Parish's approval. Whew.

Until the next post, siempre fumando,

Habana Port