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Interview with Steven Bailey of Cornelius and Anthony

Interview with Steven Bailey of Cornelius and Anthony

Let’s talk about Steven Bailey.  Who are you when you’re not working on Cornelius & Anthony?

I am fairly laid back when I’m not working.  I enjoy my time by traveling, fishing, spending time with loved ones, and being outside doing almost anything.  I live on a large farm and I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible.

Your family has been involved in tobacco for just about forever.  How did Cornelius & Anthony begin, and how did you know it was time to move into premium cigars?

Tobacco has always been a way of life for me.  I grew up working in the tobacco fields and my father’s tobacco warehouse.  We created a tobacco products company manufacturing cigarettes in the mid-90s and, as the regulatory noose began to expand in 2010, it became apparent that our ability to enter other segments was threatened.  I decided in 2012 to expand our product portfolio to include our LEX 12 little cigar line and after some trial and error, we launched Cornelius in 2015. 

Now that you’ve been in this space for a few years, would you say that cigar smokers are similar or different than cigarette smokers?  If different, how so?

Cigar smokers are vastly different than cigarette smokers.  Cigar smokers are passionate about cigars.  We love the fellowship, the story behind the cigar, what tobacco is used in the product, and which cigar factory it was made.  Conversely, cigarette smokers are not passionate about their “habit”.  Many people smoke cigarettes because they are addicted and most are looking to quit.

I remember hearing about a blending room in your home.  What’s your blending and creative process these days?

Today’s creative thoughts tend to come when I’m outside the work venue.  I often have “ideas” while my mind is cleared of the day to day business clutter.  Creating a new cigar blend typically involves a committee approach based on the objective of the new product.  We are always listening to consumer feedback and use this information to create new products.

What’s it like working with Espinosa at La Zona?

We have a fantastic relationship with Erik and Hector.  The La Zona factory turns out some of the best cigars on earth and they have been a vital part of our success.  Hector loves new blends creation and we are constantly looking for new tobacco varieties and growing regions to expand the flavor profile available to today’s cigar consumer.

For someone that has yet to smoke Cornelius & Anthony, how would you describe your growing lineup?

I love the fact that our portfolio offers something for everyone.  We have created products that are built on the finest quality tobacco and production techniques that satisfies a consumer’s desire to spend their valuable time enjoying a well-made, flavorful cigar.

I love that you pulled the original Meridian because you didn’t feel that it was up to standard.  What are other ways that your brand sets itself apart as an organization?

I believe we are the only company that offers a 100% money back guarantee on all of our cigars.  I cannot sell a product with my family’s reputation on every box and not guarantee the product.  A cigar smoker only has X amount of time to enjoy a cigar and it’s our job to ensure a memorable experience.  If we fail to deliver, then we owe that cigar smoker their money back.

Every fans’s favorite question: what’s next for Cornelius & Anthony in the next 12-18 months?

We will have new stuff at this year’s IPCPR…

 

View Cornelius and Anthony Cigars at Small Batch

View Cornelius & Anthony Cigars

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