The list of retailers turned cigar brand owner now includes Mel Shah. After nearly a decade and a half in the retail side, Shah is now trying his hand at selling cigars nationally with MBombay, his own cigar line.

“I retired from IT industry in 2001, and opened a cigar shop that year in July,” said Shah in a press release. “I enjoy retail even today, but I believe the manufacturing aspect of cigars was supposed to happen.”

For this, he turned to Vegas de Santiago in Costa Rica, the same factory responsible for Atabey and Byron. Two lines are launching this month: Classic and Maduro.

“Our philosophy is simple, acquire the best quality of tobaccos and focus on quality than quantity.”

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MBombay’s Classic is using a Connecticut shade wrapper from the 2001 harvest in Ecuador. It uses a Dominican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru. According to the press release all of these tobaccos are from 2006 and 2007. It will be offered in Belicoso (5 x 52), Churchill (7 x 48), Corona (5 x 43), Perfecto (6 x 50) and Robusto (4 1/2 x 48). Pricing is set between $8.50 and $11.50.

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A Brazilian mata fina wrapper adorns the Maduro line. The company claims a Peruvian binder is used around Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. A Churchill (7 x 48), Double Corona (7 x 52), Perfecto (6 x 50) and Robusto (4 1/2 x 48) will be made with pricing set between $10 and $13.50.

“It is not easy to sell cigars in the market, nowadays,” said Shah. “Retailers want to understand and I want to make sure that my cigars don’t end up as a dead stock on our retailer’s shelves. I’ve gone through some horrifying experiences with a few brands in our store too, and I do not want any of our retailers’ to go through that with MBombay.”

This month will be a debut as far as the nation is concerned and a formal debut as far as the packaging is concerned, but the cigars themselves have been sold at his Fame Wine and Cigar Lounge in Palm Springs, Calif.

Shah’s Bombay Tobak will be handling the distribution, which has already begun in California.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.