A little history and insight into CigarFriendlyTM.com.
How and why it was created, and by whom.
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on CigarFriendly.com

CigarFriendlyTM.com was started by Roy M. Stein (pictured here enjoying a cigar with a glass of port at Havana Cigar Club, inside Christy's Restaurant, Long Beach, CA.) in February, 1996. Since that time, CigarFriendlyTM.com has grown and now provides the most comprehensive listing of cigar-friendly establishments on the Web. There are currently more than 200 restaurants, 100 cigar lounges, 90 resorts, and 50 cigar/cigar accessory manufacturers listed with us. This figure continues to grow on a weekly basis as more and more people recognize the leverage and marketing power of CigarFriendlyTM.com. In addition, others have begun taking note of the invaluable information CigarFriendlyTM.com provides; within recent weeks, CigarFriendlyTM.com has been the first and only cigar web site ever selected as a USA Today "Hot Site", the first ever Sweet Spot Award recipient from Golf Travel Online, and it was featured in the Netwatch section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution during the middle of the Olympics. On August 26th, CigarFriendlyTM.com was chosen as a NetGuide Site of the Day and given a 4 STAR review by the same magazine. Most recently, CigarFriendlyTM.com was selected by Microsoft as the MSN Pick of the Day for October 18. On December 23, 1996 the Los Angeles Times Business Section referenced CigarFriendly.com as one of their cyberspace selections of the day and a must visit for all cigar aficionados.

As an avid traveller and connoisseur of fine food, wine, and cigars, Roy got the idea for starting CigarFriendlyTM.com from the urging of friends and after noticing numerous requests for listings of cigar-friendly establishments from participants on the highly popular internet news group Alt.Smokers.Cigars.

"I remember browsing through ASC on a daily basis and seeing several posts from people like myself wondering where they could buy or enjoy cigars on their next out of town trip. I also felt there was a need for an upscale, graphics intensive cigar web site. In short, my goal is to become the 'Cigar Aficionado' and 'Smoke Magazine' of the Web."

A native New Yorker ("I'm still a die-hard Yankee fan, win or lose"), Roy currently resides in Southern California and can be found enjoying his bachelorhood days and evenings roaming the streets of Long Beach, CA. "I just love it here. Southern California is such a transient society but Long Beach is one of the very few places that has a neighborhood feel to it...the people are genuine and friendly, there's lots of variety, and--most importantly--there's a community spirit. In terms of cigars, I've been smoking them for the past 6 years and have met a number of outstanding people from all walks of life. For me, cigar smoking has been very relaxing and I find it breaks down social barriers and helps stimulate conversation."

CigarFriendlyTM.com is a division of Globalnet Marketing, a full service marketing driven organization that can assist cigar-friendly establishments and manufacturers in the promotion of their products and services. We can assist you in the development of your own company web site and/or promote your company through various marketing tools such as our highly acclaimed "featured product/establishment of the month" program. Many companies who already have web sites use CigarFriendlyTM .com as an excellent and economical vehicle for supplementing their marketing activities. They recognize that CigarFriendlyTM.com's appeal is not just limited to the cigar community and that we have alliances with many organizations in high profile industries such as travel, sports, and entertainment. As background, company President Roy M. Stein has more than 13 years of classical sales and marketing experience with leading Fortune 100 companies such as Texas Instruments, Gillette, and RJ Reynolds. As an alumnus of Cornell University, Roy also has many contacts in the hotel and restaurant industries. For more information, please contact us by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

In the photo, left to right, Gregg Devita, Roy Stein, Bill Thomas, Denise and Bruce Foster of Texas Instruments enjoy their cigars at the Costa Rican Resort of Playa Tambor, as featured in the Autumn, 1995 issue of Cigar Aficionado.

CigarFriendlyTM .com in the News!

To better serve our loyal viewers and sponsors, CigarFriendlyTM .com has been real busy in recent weeks...Creator Roy Stein was doing more than just blowin' smoke during his last vacation. He was busy doing cigar reviews for Smoke Magazine and is one of the featured panelists in the Spring, 1997 issue (page 249). Roy even had the pleasure of sampling one of those odd-shaped Davidoff Culebras..."Cigar Sensibilities" is an article appearing on popular e-zine Biztravel.com that describes the current cigar trend sweeping the nation and offers beginners valuable tips to make their experiences more enjoyable...CigarFriendlyTM .com was in attendance at the first-ever International Cigar Expo in Las Vegas last April. Of particular interest was the hospitality suite hosted by members of the Internet Cigar Group. There were many fine cigars floating around the suite including Cuaba, Fuente Fuente OpusX, Bolivar, and others...CigarFriendlyTM .com certainly helped its efforts to differentiate itself from the other so-called 'commercial cigar sites' by working out an advertising arrangement with Forbes Magazine. "I felt it made good business sense for the ultimate capitalist tool and the ultimate cigar web site to get together."

CigarFriendlyTM .com just returned from the 1997 RTDA convention in lovely Orlando, Florida. Shook hands with many of the captains of industry, including Carlos Fuente, Jr., Drew Newman of JC Newman and Company, and others. We were real pleased to see that the RTDA did not have a lot of non-cigar related exhibitors, as was the case last year. Also had the pleasure of having dinner with Mark Tinnerman of Cyberstogies who passed out Romeo y Julieta Belicosos and Bolivar Royal Corona "seconds" that he obtains through Havana House-Canada and sells via his web site. Joining us in attendance at dinner were some of Southern California's leading cigar retailers, including Michael Hirschberger of Churchill's Fine Cigars (Long Beach); Joe Rullo of JR's Churchills (Long Beach); and Dave Peck of Lido Cigar Room (Newport Beach)

Roy Stein is once again a featured cigar review panelist in the Summer, 1997 issue of Smoke Magazine (page 269). Attention manufacturers: if you are looking to have a credible source review your cigar at a nominal cost, please complete this form. CigarFriendly.com will conduct a very thorough and professional review of your brand and share it with our loyal audience--we won't charge you an arm and a leg either, as some of the leading publications do by requiring you to spend thousands of dollars on advertising as a prerequisite.

Hard to believe it, but 1998 marks the third year of existence for CigarFriendly.com. In case you have not visited our site for a while, we have greatly expanded our Marketplace, Review, and Cuba sections in recent months...The year got off to a bad start in California, where an indoor smoking ban was passed by the state legislature and is being enforced. Expect lobby groups to petition this ban in upcoming months and we wouldn't be surprised if this law eventually is overturned...Special kudos to one of baseball's new expansion teams, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In cooperation with the J.C. Newman Cigar Company, they will be opening the Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar inside their newly constructed Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. Baseball has been criticized in recent years for not catering to the fans and for a lack of innovation. The Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar is a step in the right direction and will provide fans the opportunity to enjoy two of their favorite pasttimes at the same time...In February, Cubatabaco will be introducing the eagerly anticipated Trinidad line of cigars which, up until now, has been reserved as Fidel Castro's gift of choice to foreign diplomats. A big party is planned at the famed Tropicana Night Club in Havana in mid-February, at which time the brand will officially be launched....Looking for a great magazine that provides, both, national and local cigar information in the same issue? Pick up a copy of Cigar Lifestyles Magazine at your nearest newsstand. Look for the CigarFriendly.com advertisement in their Spring, 1998 issue.

CigarFriendly.com is pleased to announce the appointment of Paresh Patel as Foreign Correspondent--London Bureau. Paresh is the proprietor of Regal Cigars and Tobacco, long recognized as one of London's leading tobacco merchants and mail order specialists. Paresh will provide CigarFriendly.com viewers with up-to-date news and events concerning the production and marketing of Cuban Cigars. Please be sure to visit our Dr. Smoke page, where Paresh is our residing guest panelist and will answer your questions.

Here is his first report for CigarFriendly.com

Let me start by saying that it is a pleasure to be part of CigarFriendly.com. Over the past few months I have come to know Roy and his passion for cigar smoking. CigarFriendly.com is developing into a very informative site for all smokers. I have found that there is always something new to learn about cigars. In my mind the only experts in this business are the people making the cigars, in the Cuban factory. You may have seen pictures, read books, but until you have witnessed it with your own eyes you will never appreciate what a cigar is.

I was fortunate to be in Cuba at the launch of the Trinidad cigar. It was an event I will cherish. However the launch next year for the Montecristo Robusto, Cohiba Torpedo and the new Cuaba is going to be bigger and better.

The United Kingdom has seen it's fair share of growth we are fortunate to have a good supply of stocks. We do not need to worry about Cuban fakes since the real thing is available to us. There are a lot of people giving advice about how to choose your cigars, how to authenticate them and so on. There is no quick solution, no magic wand no rules. This has caused a frenzy of sorts. The buyer is now so suspicious that even if he buys a cigar he may not enjoy it since in the back of his mind he will always have doubts. We are now getting people coming into our store and expecting to see boxes with the seals intact. This is a myth, there are two main reasons for us to break the seal;

  1. To make sure that there are cigars in the box.
  2. To make sure the quality is of standard expected.
Buying a cigar is like buying any other premium product. You do expect a lot of it, so it is only natural for the store owner to check what he is selling. That's all for now, I will be back soon. Good smoking in the mean time.


If you have any comments, e-mail us at: roy@cigarfriendly.com.