James B. Russell Pipe Show Set for April 5-6, 2002
Now Open to Consumers with Retail Sponsor

The second annual JBR show, to be held April 5­6 at the Marriot Saddle Brook, Saddle Brook, N.J., will for first time allow consumers to attend the merchandise buying event. In order to register, consumers must select a retail sponsor ^Ë any retail outlet where they currently purchase tobacco products. Consumers will be charged a $5 cover charge, which will be credited towards the purchase of $10 or more in merchandise. The fee includes a buffet style lunch and attendance to a pipe seminar featuring author Richard Carlton Hacker, Danish pipe maker Erik Nording, and Michael Adler, Cadogan.

Retailers may also attend a welcoming cocktail reception, and are treated to Fatheršs Day dating and an automatic 10 percent discount on their entire invoice. Retailers will receive credit notification from JBR for all purchases made by consumers who registered them as their sponsor; retailers need not be in attendance at the show to receive the credit.

Last year, JBR displayed over 8,000 pipes and hundreds of cigars, cases, and tobaccos, utilizing all four grand ballrooms at the Marriot. The company will again offer a vast array of products at this yearšs show at discounted prices, including pipes from Comoy, Don Carlos, GBD, Nording, Sasieni, Promo, and Ascorti; Clubmaster, Comoys, La Paz, and Wings cigarillos; and pipe tobaccos including Balkan Sasieni, JBR's Royal Collection, Nording Hunter Blends, Rattray's, and Robert McConnell's. In addition, Nording will conduct pipe carving demonstrations, turning briar blocks into finished masterpieces.

Retailers and consumers may RSVP online at www.jamesbrussell.com, or contact James B. Russell at (800) 221-7738.

James B. Russell, P.O. Box 429, Upper Saddle River, N.J. 07458, Tel: (800) 221-7738, Fax; (201) 934-6370, email: JamesBRussInc@aol.com, Web: www.jamesbrussell.com

Carlos Toraņo Enters Partnership Agreement,
Forms New Dominican Company

MIAMI - Carlos Toraņo, president of Toraņo Cigars, recently signed a formal agreement with the Cuevas brothers, joining them as a full partner in their Dominican cigar factory. The new company name for the facility, located in Navarette, Dominican Republic, is Cuevas and Toraņo, S. A.

"After almost two decades of the Toraņo family's informal partnership with the Cuevas brothers," says Toraņo, "all parties felt it would only strengthen the company to formalize that partnership.

"Luis and Sergio Cuevas have grown quality tobacco and produced premium cigars for over thirty years," says Toraņo, "and their family's tobacco roots go back to the 1880s in Cuba. The Toraņo family has been in the business since 1916. I personally have been working closely with the Cuevas brothers for more than fifteen years, based solely on our good-faith agreement. This formal partnership brings together our individual strengths, so we can capitalize on them." Sergio will concentrate on his specialty, growing his proprietary strains of Cuban-seed filler tobacco on the Cuevas' large farm near Navarette. Luis will continue to apply his expertise to operating the factory.

The Toraņo family will focus on marketing and distribution of their own brands, as well as building upon their private-label customer base. "Our present factory, with 65-70 workers, is not large," says Toraņo. "It is a quality house, not a high-production facility."

The Carlos Toraņo Signature Collection, made at Cuevas & Toraņo, S.A., recently received Smoke magazine's highest rating ever for a non-Cuban cigar. Cuevas & Toraņo, S.A., also provides tobacco for and produces the La Perla Habana line and as well premium cigars for Dublin-based Peterson and the Swiss tobacco company Villiger Schone.

Nat Sherman to Relocate Manahattan Factory Operations to North Carolina
New York - Specialty cigarette maker Nat Sherman, Inc., has purchased a 38,000 sq. foot building near the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina where it plans to open a cigarette manufacturing facility next year.

Bill Sherman, the company's executive vice president, said the company will move its New York cigarette manufacturing facilities to the new site, which should be fully operational by late March. Sherman declined to comment on the purchase price, though he said his company bought the 38,000-square-foot building for less than the listed price of $1.75 million.

Nat Sherman is a luxury line of cigarettes that, on average, sells for up to $1.50 more per pack than traditional premium brands, Sherman said. The company maintains a retail shop on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan and also sells to retailers and wholesalers.

Herb Fincher, who previously worked for the now-shuttered Brown & Williamson facility in Winston-Salem, was hired to oversee production. Sherman said the plant initially will hire 25 employees, and will look to hire more as more manufacturing capabilities are added.

"For us, this is a huge investment, both in the building and in the community," said Sherman. He said the company had considered leasing space but was more intent on buying a site in order to show its "commitment" to staying in Greensboro.

Nat Sherman chose the Triad because of its long-standing tradition in tobacco and its proximity to the company's various vendors, Sherman said.

Brick-Hanauer to Distribute La Plata Cigars
Waltham, Mass. - La Plata Cigar Co. Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., has reached a distribution agreement with Brick-Hanauer Co. Inc., Waltham, Mass., to wholesale La Plata's premium cigar brands nationally.

The distribution arrangement was forged as La Plata prepared to close its retail store on South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles after 31 years.

"It's a sign of the times," said Migenes, whose father started the company in 1947. "The state of California just taxed us out of the retail store business. California is a hostile tax state for cigars."

Migenes said the retail store will stay open until the first of the year. "Then, I'm going to take an office with a showroom, but the main goal is to concentrate on promoting Brick-Hanauer's efforts nationally," Migenes said. "Everything will stay the same except the walk-in trade. We still will do retail mail order and on the Internet, and private labeling and special events."

Long-time wholesaler Brick-Hanauer's primary brands are Santa Rosa and Madrigal. "We know that La Plata is a very popular cigar on the West Coast, and being from the east we wanted a foothold in the west," said Brick-Hanauer vice president Mark Moss. "It is an established premium cigar brand, and enjoys a wide following."

La Plata's Honduran Premium line has nine shapes, with Connecticut shade or Connecticut broad-leaf maduro wrappers. The four-cigar Anniversario Seleccion Dominicanas are Dominican puros with rosado-hued Dominican wrappers.

Denmark's Mac Baren Opens U.S. Office;
Strengthens Focus on North American Market

Schaumburg, IL - Danish pipe tobacco manufacturer Mac Baren has established a U.S. office in the Chicago area, naming Michael Madsen as vice president of U.S.A./Canada Operations.

"With this step we want to show that we focus on, and will invest in, developing our pipe tobacco and the pipe tobacco market in general in times where more and more players seem to neglect this market," said Madsen.

Mac Baren, a fifth-generation tobacco producer based in Svendborg, Denmark, produces a variety of tinned and bulk pipe tobaccos. "One of my main interests by being here is to help our distributors and Swisher as importer to focus more on Mac Baren products" said Madsen.

Swisher International, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla. is the importer of Mac Baren products in the U.S.

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