The company behind Altadis U.S.A. and the JR Cigar and Casa de Montecristo retail stores has acquired Serious Cigars, the Houston, Texas-based chain of retail stores.

Serious Cigars was founded in 1996 as an online store, but now operates four retail stores, some of which are the largest in both size and volume in the state of Texas.

“Since then we have enjoyed working very hard in our industry and building what we feel is a great business for our customers, employees and suppliers,” said Ron Lesseraux, who opened the stores with his wife, JeanneMarie.

“Serious Cigars has a strong reputation in the industry, which we will continue to grow,” said Rob Maneson, general manager of Casa de Montecristo Inc. “No substantial changes are planned for the retail stores or website… and both will continue to deliver the excellent customer experience that adult premium cigar smokers in Houston are accustomed to.”

The Lesserauxs will remain with Serious through mid-2017 to oversee the transition.

Imperial Brands, plc. is the parent to all four—Tabacalera USA and its subsidiaries: Altadis U.S.A., JR Cigar and now Casa de Montecristo Inc.

Maneson told halfwheel he expects to keep the same brands as what Serious currently carries. In addition, the company has no plans to change Serious’ annual multi-vendor event, Texas Cigar Festival.

Casa de Montecristo Inc. will oversee the company’s retail stores under the Casa de Montecristo name, currently operating in Dallas and New York City, as well as the franchise stores in Boynton Beach, Fla., Chicago and Miami.

There are also plans to rebrand at least two of the JR Cigar locations in North Carolina to Casa de Montecristo by JR Cigar

Rob Maneson, who previously was the vp of retail operations for MC Management, the operations company for JR Cigar, has been appointed general manager.

Update (Nov. 11, 2016) — The original version of this story said that there were plans to change Texas Cigar Festival. There are in fact no changes, it was a typo.

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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 have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.