Lost&Found, a joint project known for its creative packaging, has announced that a major change in the company’s business model that will see it move away from sourcing unsold, aged cigars to commissioning its own cigars that are then aged for long periods of time.
When Lost&Found launched in 2015 it was originally known as Impromptu and then BCS—a reference to the three people involved: Tony Bellatto, Robert Caldwell and Jaclyn Sears—before quickly rebranding itself to Lost&Found. The company focused on finding cigars that were sitting unsold in factories for one reason or another. Robert Caldwell sourced the aged cigars, Jaclyn Sears created flashy bundles and Tony Bellatto was responsible for managing the sales. Many times, these cigars were made for a different company, sold to stores, but then a small amount of them were left over and would sit at factories for years.
The concept had its limitations because Caldwell needed to find orphaned cigars that were left over for one reason or another. It worked, on a limited basis, until the aftereffects of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic when demand for cigars increased and manufacturing issues meant supply decreased. Furthermore, other companies have caught onto the concept, further draining the supply of aged cigars.
“Lost&Found started as a company curating really great aged cigars and repackaging them,” said Caldwell in an email to halfwheel. “There are few of these gems left to be found. We have an estimated 40,000 cigars aged longer than five years which we have in our possession for slow future release, but as far as old and lost stuff that’s worth a damn- nothing is left.”
So now, Lost&Found is creating its own aged cigars under the Impromptu name. The company has begun commissioning its own cigars through Caldwell’s new entity, Impromptu Imports Manufacturing Co., and intends on recreating some of its previous releases including: One Night Stand, Pepper Cream Soda, Supreme Cream and others.
Caldwell says that all Lost&Found cigars will be aged for a minimum of two years, some could be aged for as long as four years. Furthermore, Lost&Found will be used as a way to release small runs of modified versions of previous releases. For example, Supreme Cream will be released with new packaging and a “slight blend (modification).”
This is not the first time Lost&Found has commissioned its own releases. The company commissioned Instant Classic in 2016 and released the cigars in 2020.
The first of the recreated cigars is called 15 Minutes of Fame. It’s a rerelease of the Lost&Found The Cookie, a cigar originally made for Privada Cigar Club and packaged with a band that had strong associations with Cookie Monster.
This new version—which is at least the third different time the cigar has been released within the Lost&Found portfolio—uses the same blend and is made at the same undisclosed Dominican factory. It measures 7 x 40 and uses a Dominican habano wrapper over an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic.
The 15 Minutes of Fame has an MSRP of $8—Caldwell has made a point of mentioning that’s $4 less expensive than the previous releases—and Caldwell is donating a portion of the profits to a food bank to provide 5,000 meals. The cigars have different bands than the Privada releases and are being sold through Lost&Found instead of Privada.
This release is limited to 750 bundles of 20 cigars. Caldwell told halfwheel that there could be another release of 15 Minutes of Fame in the future, but it would be in a box instead of bundles.
Lost&Found began shipping 15 Minutes of Fame to stores last week.