Visiting the CI Superstore

Stogie Spotlight14 Comments on Visiting the CI Superstore

Visiting the CI Superstore

Cigars International Superstore - 1Last week I made mentioned that I attended a seminar at the Cigars International Superstore in which Cristian Eiroa spoke to several groups and educated us on the Camacho brand of cigars. This was my second time at the CI Superstore and it was quite different from my first.

A couple of months ago I got a private message on the Nub Live forum from a friend, Rob, that I attended Cigar Fest with. He knew that I was in the general area of the Superstore and asked if it would be possible for me to shoot on over and pick him up some Nub samplers that CI was practically giving away.

The samplers Rob needed to get his hands on were for a contest he was running, so I made plans to make a very quick trip up to CI. I had some things going on that day so my time was of the essence. I raced in, picked up about ten samplers and raced back out the door.

I wasn’t inside long enough to really take in how big the store actually was. Fast forward a couple of months and here I am on my way back to the Superstore for the Camacho Seminar. I was driving along with father, telling him that this time I wanted to take it all in and see what the Superstore was all about.

We arrived after about an hour long drive and made our way inside the barn like structure. As I stepped inside and began to peer towards the back of the store I couldn’t believe I rushed through this place so fast the first time around. As you enter the first thing you see is a huge glass island where many high end cigars and accessories are kept.

Cigars International Superstore - 3

Beyond the island of glass display cases there is an elevated members lounge. From the front door not much of the lounge can be seen. However what jumps out at this point are the thousands of cigars which line the outside walls of the store. The outside walls are broken up with partitions to segregate the cigars of one manufacturer from those of another.

Between each partition is a display of even more cigars. As I walked up and down the store I couldn’t believe just how many cigars were being stored in this mammoth store. Virtually anything in the catalog could be purchased from the store. Pre packaged sample packs were everywhere, all with the same pricing that you would find online.

After about a half hour of staring at the incredible selection, I got to talking with the Director of Retail Operations, Matt Cook. From Matt I learned that the entire store is both air conditioned, for comfort, and humidified, for keeping the cigars. While this seems like a bit of an uphill battle, they somehow make it all work. I also learned that since the store itself is humidified, it boasts an incredible 5,000 square foot humidor.

Being that I’m a nerd and I had my camcorder with me, I asked Matt if he would mind me doing a little virtual tour that I could share with the Stogie Review family. Matt quickly agreed and I planned to start recording after the seminar with Christian.

Cigars International Superstore - 2Once the seminar was complete I got to filming. I walked up to each segmented area and quickly panned over all of the cigars. As I moved from one area to the next with my camcorder, recording, I heard the occasional custom mention to the staff that there was some crazy guy with a camera taking video of the store. The staff kindly informed them that I was with Stogie Review and that it was alright.

Hearing the customer tell on me was actually pretty cool. It showed that the people shopping at the store felt at home enough that they wanted to protect what they had. I can’t see a competitor coming into a business to record prices very often, but the customers and staff were definitely on top of things just in case that was the case.

After all of my recording was finished I tracked down Matt and thanked him once again for allowing me to record both the store, and Christian seminar. I couldn’t have felt more comfortable with the CI Staff and the Camacho guys. Everyone was very professional and very nice as well. Even with the store being an hour away, I’ll definitely be making it a point to stop in from time to time.

Below is the end result of my video tour. Its kind of corny, in a man walking around with a camera set to music kind of way, but I think it does a good job of showing just how big this place is.

Just like when you are in Vegas, visiting Casa Fuente is a must for a cigar smoker, you should make it a point to visit the Superstore if you ever find yourself in Eastern PA.

What is the biggest cigar store you have ever been to?
Would you care to tell us about it

enjoying cigars since 2005

14 thoughts on “Visiting the CI Superstore

  1. Great….. now I’m depressed…..

    Most of the cigar shops I’ve been to are tiny…my regular shop is smaller than my bedroom! Most have maybe a 100sqft humidor.

    thats it!!! I’m moving to PA!

  2. Wow what a huge place. The biggest store I’ve been to was probably Thompson’s in Tampa. I have to say, I wasn’t impressed with the secection, and the prices were way too high, so I left without making a purchase (I just went to Ed’s).

  3. Rich,
    That nice thing about this area of PA is that I have only run into 1 store with a humidor around 100 sqft. Unfortunately it was that small for a reason (lots of mold, high humidity, etc).

    I’ve always wondered about that store. Before I moved I was a slave to their catalog mailings. I remember in many of those catalogs they went on and on about how large and stocked their store was.

    Thanks for the info, If I ever find myself in Tampa I’ll look into more than just Thompsons.

  4. Wow -what a beautiful store/humidor. The biggest one I’ve ever seen was a JR’s in northern NJ- about 10 years ago.( also huge)

  5. Walt – I won’t lie, they had a lot of cigars, and stuff you can’t find everywhere like the Opus X (for $50.00 each). But honestly, I find better selection at the small shops such as Ed’s, where there is no uppity atmosphere.

    If you are ever in the Tampa area, you better let me know, and then stop by Ed’s! 🙂

  6. Great video Walt. I appreciate your time in putting it up. That is one impressive Cigar shop. I’d love to visit it someday.

  7. Thanks for the inside look! It is amazing to see the size of some of these places. Most of the time you just think of of them as an online store and not a B&M.

    We need more videos like this!

  8. Jon W-
    OK you got me with my contrdicting comments 😉
    I guess what I meant was, I’d prefer a smaller store that lacked the ‘regular’ cigars, but was rich in selection of great smokes. Basically quality over quantity is what I’ve found in a few of the smaller shops.

    Now keep in mind, I make no money pushing Ed’s store, but his is a perfect example. VERY small, but great selection.

    I won’t lie though… If CI was even remotely near my home, you’d catch me in there from time to time.

  9. I literally live 4 minutes from the store(yes i have timed it) and let me tell you it is awesome. I have just started smoking cigars, about 2 months now, and I will say that the staff is great. I first walked in there with a list I made from reading people’s reviews online and one cigar band from a cigar that a friend gave me from cigar fest that he let me try and I had enjoyed. Now I am hooked and have spent $400 already.

    The place is huge, the events they hold are great, the staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and the prices can’t be beat.

    I got to meet Rocky Patel (he signed my humi), AJ Fernandez, and Cristian Eiroa already!!!!

    Every time I now go to another cigar shop when I am out, or in Jersey I am always disappointed. I don’t think I can ever move away from Bethlehem because I am spoiled now. You should see CI’s shop downtown, that place is packed too!!!

    Just to see my taste I so far really enjoy the La Aurora 1495 (I want to try a Preferido so bad), Gran Habano Corojo #5 (can’t wait until that event in September), and the Don Pepin Garcia Blue. That is just to name a few and there are so many I haven’t tried!!!!!! (oh, and the Nub Habano Torpedo, love it)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top