On Tuesday afternoon, Michael Bellody formally announced the launch of his latest venture, MLB Cigar Ventures, via a Facebook post on the company’s page:
Welcome to my new cigar project! MLB Cigar Ventures is a new and very unique company. We will develop and own premium cigar blends & brands made in the worlds best factories, using only the finest quality tobacco. As the company name indicates, we are also open to investing in outside cigar ventures where it makes sense. This is a new concept in this great industry that takes my successful background in the investment industry and brings it together with the premium cigar industry. My inaugural, proprietary blend/brand will launch in the coming months. Let the journey begin!
All the best,
Founder & CEO
While Bellody is still involved with Tiant Cigar Group LLC as co-owner and president, he made it clear that he is working to dissociate himself from the company. While he declined to go into specifics, he did describe the future of the company as being “in limbo.” The company is best known for producing the El Tiante cigar line named for former Major League Baseball pitcher Luis Tiant.
Bellody is targeting his first release to be available in the early part of 2014. He is working with the Quesada family at the MATASA factory in the Dominican Republic, and spoke highly about their assistance and expertise in getting his new project off the ground. He currently has two blends in development but is planning on releasing just one of them at this time, and while he says that both are nearly finished, he is still fine tuning the specifics and will be at the factory in a few weeks to finalize them.
He is also in process of finalizing the name of the cigar, the artwork and the pricing, but expects it to be similar to the El Tiante line, with a Toro costing about $8 and a 6 x 60 at just under $10.
Bellody said that the initial release won’t be a limited production, but will have a limited release in the northeastern region. He is based in Boston and wants to launch the cigar in that area and build a following throughout the Northeastern US before attempting nationwide distribution. He is considering having a presence at the 2014 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show next summer and hopes to have at least semi-national distribution by that point
He is also maintaining an investment aspect of MLB Cigar Ventures, though he said that will strictly be a secondary function of the company, as he is primarily focused on getting this new cigar line into the market.