Reconnecting with Retailers

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    “This year, being able to bring this concept to life and have retailers participate in a more structured program was a success,” says Austin. “We are always looking for ways to amplify and fine-tune, so there is something to look forward to as we perfect the Gastronomy Tour and expand our partnerships.”

    The Gastronomy Tour—which included events in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida, among other locations—involved many of Davidoff’s team members sharing the stories of some of the company’s gastronomy partners that typically haven’t gotten their due amount of attention. With the hospitality industry taking such a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gastronomy Tour was inspired by the desire of those at Davidoff to give back to the hospitality industry in an exciting and invigorating manner.

    On Nov. 10, 2021, Davidoff put the spotlight on some of its top retail partners during the annual Golden Band Awards. The event was held at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, and several retailers were recognized during this exclusive night.

    “The Davidoff Golden Band Awards go beyond just an in-person event. It is where we celebrate the amazing achievements of Davidoff’s best-performing business partners,” says Austin. “Aside from that, it is one of the few, if not the only, brand/company-hosted events where retailers compete throughout the year to take the stage and be recognized for their success. The Golden Band Awards is one of my favorite events of the year—and even more so since I took my role as president in 2019. The two that I have had the honor to host have been rewarding experiences for me. It is always nice to be recognized, but what I’ve learned is that it is even more rewarding to recognize someone else—to make their big moment, especially considering most are family-owned businesses that have made significant efforts to drive our brands forward.”

    In the category of Best Performance of the Year, The Tobacconist of Greenwich won the award for single location, while Blend Bar with Davidoff Cigars-Indianapolis won the award for multiple locations. For Best Growth of the Year, Aventura, Florida-based Cigar Box won for single location, and Casa de Montecristo in Countryside, Illinois, won for multiple locations. The Best Brand Building of the Year award went to Shore Thing Cigars, a lounge owned and operated by Paul Copeland and country music star Luke Bryan. Davidoff’s Best Appointed Merchant of the Year award went to East Greenwich, Rhode Island’s Regency Cigar Emporium. Much like the Gastronomy Tour, this formal and exclusive event also featured special spirits and cigar pairings as well as a fine dining experience.

    This story first appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.