Cigars International President Featured in Cover Story of Tobacco Business
By Colin McEvoy on September 13, 2021
Sarah Santos, who has been leading the Bethlehem-based Cigars International for nearly two years, was recently the subject of a cover story by Tobacco Business magazine, the leading trade publication about the premium tobacco industry.
Santos, who has been President of Cigars International since January 2020, discusses a wide range of topics in the story, including the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the company and the entire cigar industry.
Other topics include evolving preferences and demands from today’s cigar consumer, changes on the regulatory and tax fronts impacting the cigar business, and Cigar International’s use of data to track industry trends.
Santos will also be interviewed by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) during executive video interview series, which launches this month. The series will feature new corporate leaders from major companies across the region, including Cigars International, Mack Trucks, Olympus, PPL Electric Utilities, Victaulic, and more.
The Tobacco Business story highlights Santos’ professional background and describes what a typical day in her job looks like. The article also discusses how the cigar industry is seeing changes similar to those that the craft beer industry experienced several years ago, due to the wide variety of cigars now available on the market and the rise of new brands available each year.
“Cigars International offered me the ability to develop and lead many disciplines of the business, such as marketing, merchandising, operations, distribution, and technology, and I committed myself to becoming fluent in them all,” Santos said in the article. “… The pace is fast and exciting, and I relish every minute of it until my head hits the pillow each evening.”
Santos also reveals her personal favorite cigar: the Toraño Reserva Decadéncia. “The tobaccos in that cigar were aged in French oak barrels that were used to age port wine, so the cigar is amazing on the palate and has a pleasant room note,” she said.
A subsidiary of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Cigars International is among the largest internet and catalog retailers of handmade cigars and accessories in the United States, with more than 1 million active online customers.
The company distributes more than 20 million catalogs to consumers across the country, and has seven retail super-stores located throughout Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas, in addition to its robust e-commerce business.
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