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From the Ninja's Desk

From the Ninja's Desk
5 years ago 10 comments

There’s something about a blank slate that is exhilarating but also terrifying and I’ve now been through it twice in the last few years here with CigarPlace.biz. First with the re-design process of our website and now with the design of this new space that they’ve been crazy enough to give me control over with the blog. It will forever be a work in progress and it’s intimidating. It’s an empty canvas just waiting to be marked and marred with designs, layouts and words, scratched out, laid out, and moved around again, ad nauseum until I’m finally happy with it for 10 seconds. And as a perfectionist, I’ve learned over the years that when it comes to art projects and creative design things, I’m never really happy with projects, I’m only ever happy enough to send it to print, knowing that it has to get “published” at some point. I’ve been excited about this project for a long time now and it hasn’t been without it’s roadblocks and even now as we go to “print” with our first article things aren’t working the way that I’d like them to but sometimes such is life and the show simply must go on.

While a blog isn’t a huge deal to most people, to me, it’s one more way of reaching out and connecting with our customers, and this time, it’s on a much more personal level. I should probably take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Jessica and I'm the resident Cigar Ninja here at CigarPlace.biz. What originally started as a joke, has been my official job title for years now. My job tasks include being the Customer Service Supervisor and the Marketing Department Lead. I’ve been tagging along for the ride with CigarPlace for almost half of its 10 years in business logging nearly 5 years with the company. I’ve gotten to know many of you, our customers as well, celebrating births, weddings, new jobs, graduations, Father’s Day, holiday celebrations, remembering loved ones in death, honoring our servicemen and women service at home and abroad, all sorts of other special occasions and in finding the exceptional moments in the mundane of our everyday lives. I’ve found that we may have different political, religious, or child rearing beliefs, different climates, rival sports teams or any other number of things that divide us but it’s our love and passion for cigars on the whole that brings us together and allows us to meet on common ground. For as many of you as I already know, I look forward to getting to know many more of you through this blog. Thanks for stopping by and reading what I and the rest of my team have to say.

Education is at the core of my being; it’s something that I am incredibly passionate about in my cigar smoking and it’s something that I bring to my job every day at CigarPlace. I truly believe that better educated smokers make for better smoking experiences for everyone involved. As such, I do my best to educate our customers every chance that I get. Seeing as how this is my department and my project, this means that this space is going to be very heavily education focused but with a heavy dose of fun mixed in as well. I’m not one that ever takes anything TOO seriously. We hope that you’ll follow and learn right along with us. We also hope that through the comments below each article that you’ll be willing to help teach us and each other a thing or two as well. We’ve been working hard to build an educated community of smokers that help each other and engage one another in conversation. We all have something to learn, yes, even me, more like especially me.

In the coming weeks we’ll be releasing blog posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week to start from a variety of folks among my cast of characters. Among them are TJ, my partner in crime in both the Customer Service and Marketing Departments here, my two Chris’s, Chris D. and Chris S. whose work you’ve likely read but just don’t know it yet, and Sean, a welcome newcomer to our team. Their bios will be available in the coming days. Chris, Chris and TJ are three of the people responsible for almost all of the product descriptions that you read on our website. So if you disagree with something you’ve read there, it’s likely one of their faults. You’ll be hearing from them on topics ranging from cigar storage and the proper way to fill your lighter to the finer points of corojo wrappers and everything in between. These guys are walking cigar encyclopedias and they’re at your disposal to help guide you through this love of the leaf that we all share. We’ll also be featuring cigar reviews, posts about booze, brews and BBQ, kitchen tips, the on-goings in the sports world and other topics of interest as they come about.

So that’s a bit about where we’re going but what about where we’ve come from? So little is known about the history of CigarPlace that maybe it’s time to shed a little bit of light. We are, as I said earlier a 10 year old company that is based in South Florida in a small fishing town just north of West Palm Beach. Our company owners are a husband and wife team that have busted their tails and bootstrapped their way to success. Julian, or as we like to call him, El Jefe or Mr. Wizard, got his start back in 2005 as a one man show going door to door selling cigars to small tobacco shops in Miami. In a short period of time, business grew considerably and Julian looked for ways to expand even more. He began selling cigars not only to businesses but to direct to consumers after setting up an EBay shop and holding inventory in his bedroom. Not long after that, Julian realized that having his own website would give him more control over his sales. He applied for a bunch of credit cards, incurred a ton of debt and thus CigarPlace.biz was born. Since then, he has hustled his way to the company we are today. We are best known for our wide selection, competitive pricing, and our quick, discreet shipping as well as the absolute best customer service in the industry. On Valentine’s Day of 2010, David aka Batman, our Operations Manager joined the team and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since. David is responsible for all of our day to day operations here at the office and he keeps things running as smoothly as possible. Since I joined the team that April, we’ve added lots more employees to meet the ever-growing demands of a small, family-based business. However, there is no amount of work that we could put in that would make a difference in our bottom line if it weren’t for you, our customers. Every decision we have made since day one has been made from the perspective of putting our customers first and we attribute all of our success to that and ultimately to you. Thank you for helping to keep us employed in the industry that we love.

Just like the wall of this blog post was once a blank slate, every day we wake up with our slate and our palate fresh and new again. I spend my days smoking unbanded cigars either for El Jefe or for our friends over at BlindMansPuff.com doing blind reviews. It's astounding the things one tastes when you go in without any preconceived notions of what you're supposed to taste. I'm wondering what will you do or have you done with your blank palate today? What cigars are you smoking? What flavors are you tasting? Have you ever smoked a cigar blind? How did not knowing what it was effect your smoking experience? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Thank you for choosing CigarPlace.biz and we’ll see you with our next blog post on Thursday.

van Durme 5 years ago at 7:13 PM
Would be great to see some of Ninja's cigar shots on instagram too!
Cigar Ninja 5 years ago at 3:25 PM
There will be more cigar shots coming to Instagram soon. Surprisingly, our office due to restrictions with the landlord and city ordinances is a non-smoking one... :(

But I promise there will be more cigar shots coming to Instagram real soon. Any cigars in particular you'd like to see?
Ss 5 years ago at 11:36 PM
Glad to see you guys are sharing more info keeping us well informed. How about a short bio for all the cigar place cast of characters? What type(s) of cigars do they like for everyday and which ones for special occasions etc. Good whiskey/scotch or beer matches to different cigars. Just my 2 cents.
Cigar Ninja 5 years ago at 3:35 PM
We're planning on adding bios for each of the staff writers in the coming days or weeks depending on how much coding it will require and what other coding projects come up in the meantime.

Pairings with as well as standalone articles about scotch, whiskeys and beers will be topics of articles to come in the not so distant future. In fact one of our upcoming articles is about the best bourbons under $30 I believe, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.
red richardson 5 years ago at 2:27 PM
have enjoyed my association with cigarbiz, good article, merry Christmas.
Cigar Ninja 5 years ago at 3:37 PM
Hey Red,

I'm glad you've enjoyed your association with us and that you liked my article. What part spoke to you most?
Franca Comparetto 5 years ago at 5:30 PM
Nice post and intro to your team, Jessica.
For work I smoke exclusively blind. A blind panel is to me the least subjective way to gather data on a cigar, unless you need to evaluate brand typicality or many readers have already identified strong affinities with your palate (the Robert Parker way).
Cigar Ninja 5 years ago at 3:38 PM
Hey Franca,

I've found that I really enjoy smoking blind sometimes. At least for work purposes. It really allows me to enjoy a cigar solely on it's own merits without any preconceived notions coming through. I think more smokers should try it sometime.
Mike S. 5 years ago at 6:32 PM
Hey Jessica,
Just dropped by to wish you and all the staff a Happy and prosperous 2016.
My favorite quote or your's which I still have from a few years back "Merry Christmas and a Happy and Productive New Year to you. Be Merciless and Leave No Cigar Un-smoked in 2012."
Jessica Danon 5 years ago at 5:52 PM
I'm glad to see that my wiseass words have lived on in infamy these many years. If there is anything I have learned in my time here it's that you never know what you say that will stick with people so be as kind as possible because it costs nothing to be kind.

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