Lighting up the cigar industry with a hot new idea

Posted On July 22, 2019

We all would love to be ahead of the curve, to have that hot new business idea that disrupts an industry and sets a new trend.

In a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” I talked with someone who has done just that – Jeff Zeiders, co-founder and CEO of

Traditionally, cigar smokers are older white men who find a couple of brands of cigars they like and buy them from local shops or from large online providers. has developed a new distribution model to reach a new customer base and to grow by utilizing new marketing strategies.

Zeiders calls it “the Spotify of cigars.” asks customers to answer a series of seven questions about their preferences in food and drink, which it then uses to develop a taste profile and pairs cigars to that profile. The company sends its members three to five cigars a month, hand-selected based off the quiz answers, along with an extra gift that typically pairs with the cigars.

“If we have 1,000 customers, we are sending 1,000 different boxes,” Zeiders says, adding that the data results in an accuracy rate of about 95 percent.

Along with his partner, Zeiders launched the company in 2016 after pitching it at Startup Weekend, a “Shark Tank” style business pitch competition in Mobile, where it’s based. It has since grown and now has distribution in all 50 states, as well as overseas. And its customer base is younger and more diverse than the industry has typically drawn.

Zeiders shares with us some of the keys to the company’s growth, including its use of social media marketing tools, its emphasis on packaging and why it considers itself a “lifestyle-based” subscription service. He also shares how you can pair a cigar with food or drinks, the differences in how you cut a cigar, whether Cuban cigars are really superior, and why cigar sales are currently the highest they have ever been.

Join us for a satisfying discussion about cigars and how one great idea can start a new trend.

Categories: What's Working with Cam Marston