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With Edgar



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He’s also worked with his team to bring focus to the

quality, consistency and availability of the Kristoff prod-

uct. Over the years, the company has transitioned away

from independent sales representatives and instead has

in-house representatives who can focus more attention

on building the overall brand. The company’s marketing

efforts include print media, as well as social media and

in-store events to continually reach out to and engage

with Kristoff’s customer base.

In another move to control the brand and ensure

consistency and availability, Kristoff established its own

warehousing and logistics company, Exclusive Cigars

Imports. With this company, Kristoff is able to handle

his business’s warehousing and logistics needs and also to

provide similar services to other cigar manufacturers. All

of these moves have helped Case build a strong brand

and business model.

“Reinvesting back into your business is absolutely crit-

ical,” explains Case. “It is analogous to the stock market:

You need to be investing in it to make money, but know-

ing where to invest, or not to, is critical to your success.”


In order for a business to grow, Case says you need to have

a plan for growth. Larger manufacturers can rely on scal-

ability to spark growth. For example, larger manufacturers

can negotiate more aggressive pricing on raw materials

based on higher purchasing volumes. Kristoff, on the oth-

er hand, is a boutique company, which allows for a clos-

er watch on quality and consistency. Smaller companies

can also adapt quicker to changes in production and focus

more on product development and marketing.

“I absolutely embrace the boutique manufacturer

philosophy, but that does not mean we won’t continue

to grow the Kristoff brand,” Case explains. “I believe

we can continue to grow and still hold onto the things

that define us as a boutique manufacturer. We will

uphold the strongest quality control standards, draw

testing every cigar, double and triple fermenting the

finest tobacco available, [ensuring] optimal aging of

our cigars and more.”

Having the capacity and infrastructure to accommo-

date growth is key, in Case’s opinion. Every company

should have a calculated trajectory for growth and the

ability to adapt quickly to any changes that may impact

that plan. “While forecasting sales is an art, not a sci-

ence, there needs to be a disciplined approach to effec-

tively [managing] growth and trying to stay ahead of the

curve,” Case advises.

Another part of growth is expanding your team.

When choosing a new person to join the Kristoff team,

Case looks for experience and expertise. If he’s hiring a

new sales representative, Case looks for someone who

has sales experience and understands the demands of a

sales position—but they do not necessarily need to have

experience with the cigar industry.

“Just as important as experience is the honesty, integ-

rity and work ethic of the individual,” Case explains.

“These are the characteristics that I hold near and dear

to my heart, along with respect for others.”


In order to get more shelf space within retail stores, Case

describes the role of the sales representative as that of a

problem solver. It’s the job of the sales representative to

understand the concern or objection a retailer may have

toward bringing in certain products and offer a solution.

“If you knock down the barriers and stand behind the



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