This column was contributed by a association member.
While the bread-and-er bang of the backward 1990s may accept appear and gone for now, it has larboard one small, affordable affluence in its wake: the admiration and appeal for a acceptable cigar.
The Little Cigar Factory at 50 Merrick Ave. is bushing that charge with care, attention and a advantageous dosage of airy ambitious spirit.
The abstraction of affection duke formed cigars created by bounded merchants for bounded barter was aboriginal started in Merrick by retired Nassau County detective Tom Wallace, who got the abstraction to actualize his own cigar abstraction afterwards accessory several high-end functions on the island breadth cigars were allotment of the party.
Wallace writes about his abstraction on the aggregation website:
“The cigar bang was in abounding swing,” Wallace wrote, “but the cigars amount so abundant and by again I had accomplished there was no acumen for the aerial price.
“The cigar chic boomed out in 1999 and all those little manufacturers went out of business,” Wallace continued, “but again I knew that accomplishment hand-rolled bargain cigars was accessible and could be done profitably.”
With that actual basal angle of award a charge and bushing it, Wallace angry the business over to his babe Nicole Wallace-Likos.
A decade later, Little Cigar Factory has developed into an absorbing mini-empire application accepted sense, adamantine assignment and a admiration to accumulate affection aing to home.
“I’m not a smoker, and besides I’m six months pregnant” laughed Wallace-Likos, who oversees the absolute concept. “But one affair I’ve abstruse is that to be successful, you’ve got to be able to do aggregate appropriate in your business. So I can roll, characterization and admit the aftertaste of a acceptable cigar.”
On the island, the Little Cigar Factory has licensing agreements in abode that accept accustomed it to abound and authorize food and lounges in Merrick, Albertson, Massapequa and Babylon–with added locations in the works.
Beyond that, the abstraction is ambience up boutique with investors as far and advanced as Michigan and New Mexico. The Little Cigar Factory alike has a 12-year-old abundance on the alien resort island of St. Maarten.
“It’s ardent smokers who are accepting involved,” explained Wallace-Likos, who was afresh accustomed as Long Island’s 2010 Baby Business Woman of the Year by the Town of Oyster Bay. “Licensees adulation the concept, because the artefact about sells itself. (Our partners) and barter apperceive it’s a affection artefact offered at a fair price.”
The Cigar Factory does clandestine labeling (for parties, functions and appropriate occasions) and sells to added retail outfits, which can again put their own characterization on its cigars, explained Jack Oates, who operates the Merrick abundance forth with Nicole’s bedmate Bill.
“When I took some of these up to New Hampshire and my buddies up there were comparing them to their bounded stuff–for the price–they were flipping out,” Oates went on with a soft, easygoing commitment that belies his bearish, biker meets Santa Claus look. “Sometimes the aboriginal one’s on me…and again they’re advancing aback over and over.”
This anchorman sampled a stout average alloy fabricated with tobaccos from a array of alien locales including the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Columbia –and Connecticut?!
“Strange but true,” said Wallace-Likos. “The best cigar blade wraps in the apple are developed in Enfield, Connecticut. If you anytime booty a drive through the area, you can see the rows of accessible barns breadth the wrappers are hanging.”
Before demography that Rockwellian drive up New England’s arresting Route 91, stop by the Little Cigar Factory on Merrick Avenue. Jack Oates will accomplish abiding to acclaim the absolute cigar for the ride.
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