The Terrible Cigar Club Wants To Elevate The Experience Of Enjoying A Cigar

Alejandro Toledo, Grace Cabezas and Nigel Reo-Coker

Photo Credit: The Terrible Cigar Club

The Terrible Cigar Club wants to be your cure to the mediocre. This exciting new company wishes to educate folks about the cigar-enjoying experience while changing some of the stigmas surrounding the cigar industry.

Co-founder Grace Cabezas sat down with Haute Living and shared her vision for what ‘The Terrible Cigar Club’ wishes to provide for its community.


Haute Living: Talk to us a little bit about the company’s beginnings and its identity. What are some of your core principles?

Grace Cabezas: We were founded not too long ago, four months to be exact. Our principle for The Terrible Cigar Club is to find people that have the same mindset of enjoying the experience of having a cigar. Our partners: Nigel, Alejandro and myself, were all minorities that did not feel represented within the cigar industry. We’re trying to make a place where cigar enthusiasts can feel a sense of belonging. We want them to know that they can find belonging here, at this club. We welcome everyone who enjoys the experience of smoking a cigar, no matter who they are.

HL: So you want to make the cigar-smoking experience a bit more accessible while elevating the experience to a level equivalent of an art form?

GC: Yes, absolutely. We are offering educational courses or enough courses and events where the person can feel comfortable coming in and smoking a cigar. Sometimes, people feel uncomfortable going to certain places because they might feel intimidated because the given cigar environment may not be so welcoming and this (Terrible Cigar Club) is not part of that.

Ours is a welcoming environment that is basically as if you were in your own living room or back patio because we have big, beautiful chairs and rooms filled with green plants and just a very tropical vibe so it makes you feel at home but also makes everyone feel as if they are an exclusive VIP guest.

HL: How did your partnership with Alejandro Toledo and Nigel Reo-Coker come about?

GC: When I was working for Davidoff Cigars in the Northern California region, I would bump into Nigel quite often. He was living in Vancouver at the time but there weren’t too many places to go to smoke cigars back then. He was such a passionate cigar-smoker that he would go to Seattle for cigar events and we would run into each other. Over time, a friendship developed and we would always talk about how we would love to open a Cigar shop one day.

Years later, we both relocate to Florida, without the other knowing, and we bump into each other at a cigar bar in down town Ft. Lauderdale. We realized that since my time at Davidoff was over and his time with soccer had come to an end, this would be the perfect time to launch our passion project.

Once we got the ball rolling, we realized we needed a third person in the mix because Nigel and I were aware of the potential of pairing the cigar-smoking experience along with all these curated events. I knew Alejandro from the cigar industry and I knew he had been in the business for at least 10 years. I knew he was a great, trustworthy person and charismatic at that. So when Nigel and I approached him, he agreed to join us and that’s how the team was built.

Actually, as a team-building exercise, we decided to revamp the retail space we reserved all on our own. It was a challenging month but it made the team stronger and created that magic jelly that bonded us and took our partnerships to the next level.

HL: As far as the cigar-rolling process goes, are you guys involved with that as well? Or is that more of a subject you would just provide educational knowledge on for the clientele? 

GC: Oh, absolutely. We definitely provide a lot of education with regard to not just the components of a cigar, but but how to enjoy and preserve a cigar. All these topics will be included within the private events area of the club. We have a private club and we have a cigar shop. So the private club is for members only. The cigar shop leads out to the terrace. So clients who buy a cigar can sit outside and enjoy the terrace or, if they wish to elevate their experience, could always become a member and enjoy our private section.

We also offer an online subscription where clients can purchase four cigars every month. These cigars are very rare, hard to find products. They will often be vintage or limited-edition cigars that would go for $39.95, which is a great deal because if you were to buy them individually (if you could find them) it would cost you close to $100.

HL: Would you agree that there is somewhat of a misconception surrounding the cigar-smoking culture? One would think cigars are reserved exclusively for men of a certain age and demographic, but that’s not the case, is it?

GC: I totally agree with you. I see a new demographic and new generation that is starting to smoke cigars. Perhaps they learned from their grandfather or their father and they want to maintain that tradition. To be honest with you, smoking a cigar is like going to a spa. People love going to the spa to get a massage but if they only knew that by smoking a cigar, you probably get better benefits than a massage you get once a month.

Typically, men enjoy cigars but they are actually helping themselves de-stress, and by doing so, you are alleviating a lot of stresses that can cause health issues. I know it sounds contradictory, but I have been in the business for over 25 years and have observed certain patterns and I am confident in saying that cigar-smoking can be therapeutic.

You know, when you are smoking a cigar you actually de-tach from all your issues and problems and you are just enjoying a really great conversation. I think this younger generation does not really have a place to go and network. So, going to a cigar shop and buying a cigar, enjoying that for two hours, it’s almost as if you were going to the golf course with your friends, minus the golf. You are actually meeting all of these professional and business-savvy people who come from all kinds of backgrounds.

Let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing to see a guy in his mid-20s speaking to a gentlemen in his 50s about current events or whatever the case may be.

HL: What is your vision for the company, moving forward?

GC: The vision for the immediate future is to grow membership and once we succeed in that, we are going to expand the club and then really hone in on actual experiences surrounding various aspects of the cigar-smoking experience.

These experiences include food pairings with live streams from Napa Valley or Sonoma County, where we can speak to wine makers and have them walk us through their vineyards and teach about aging rules for wines so clients can actually taste the wines that we are pairing with our cigars.

This would also extend to food pairings as well. Sometimes, when you go to cigar dinners, they don’t really take that extra step and discuss pairing the foods properly. Moving forward, that is going to be our goal and then we have other plans around growing the business but our immediate goal is to deliver really great experiences to people who enjoy cigars and it isn’t just about sitting there and smoking a cigar. It’s about a lot of different aspects revolving the culture that we are going to introduce to our clients.


To learn more about The Terrible Cigar Club, CLICK HERE.