Village Cigar Company

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On the quest for a handsomely crafted humidor, I found myself in a gentleman’s world at The Village Cigar Company. I was so smitten with the shop, I brought Jacklyn back with me the following week and she too was taken by it. The collaboration of Ryan Baker, Jerry Filice, Kris Ceelen and Jordan Hastings (yes, the one you are thinking of), the cozy and inviting shop is bringing back, in our opinion, the art of being a gentleman. "The true intent of Village Cigar Company was to build and embrace a community and culture," says Jerry, "The world of cigars is one with a deep, rich history complete with characters and story's as complex and interesting as the cigars themselves. Our aim is to embrace this history and include everyone walking through our door in the experience." Showcasing a fine selection of cigars, personal humidors and gentleman’s accoutrements, they also offer straight shaves and expert cuts using Crown Shaving Co. products. Plus, they often bring in guest barbers, host whiskey tastings and cigar rolling demonstrations. Take our word for it guys, you need to pay them a visit. And don't be surprised if you see us there.

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Q&A

In this day and age, services are often quick -- from a haircut to the amount of time and attention a customer receives in a shop. You all take great pride in selling your tobacco-related products and providing barber services. Stepping into your shop promises a full, leisurely experience. What do you hope to bring to people through The Village Cigar Company?

VCC. It was never our intention nor our interest to simply open yet another retail outlet. The world has enough of those already. What we set out to do, and continue to strive towards every day with each and every customer is to build a community. We truly do want you to hang out, spend time in the shop, in the humidor and on our back deck shooting the breeze while enjoying a fine cigar with like minded individuals you either know very well or have just met. Every retailer in the world sets out to do the exact same thing; sell products, but not all embrace what they sell as a part of their own personal lifestyle. A love of cigars and a sharing of knowledge and experience is what we truly hope to bring to people. We believe that is what will set us apart.

The past few years have seen a return to classicism and the resurgence of barbershops as a place to lounge, talk, enjoy a stiff drink and a cigar. Why do you think this is the case? What inspired you guys to intertwine the barber services?

VCC. The world has become a very fast and introverted place. How often are you at a restaurant and look at a table of four, all on their own personal cell phones texting others or exploring social media while spending little time connecting with those across the table from them? And we're not knocking S.M. in any way, as it's our best friend right now. But then the meal arrives, is quickly consumed and off they all go to keep up with the pace of today's society. When do we get a chance to truly slow down and unwind? The time has come to be able to enjoy the moment in front of you and for guys we all need the time to do just that. That's why true barbershops and lounges have begun to emerge on larger scale. Guys want to be able to sit around together and speak freely about whatever my be on their minds without the risk of offending the finer sex.  We as the four founding partners all enjoy our cigars and our visits to the barbershop, so it only made sense to incorporate the two into a single space.  Hearken back to a time when men would gather at the barber shop to discuss sports, politics, women, etc. while enjoying a cigar, some music and the company that surrounds in a relaxed and gentlemanly manner. In our opinion, we offer a spot that offers an encompassing lifestyle for those so inclined. Worry not ladies, as mentioned this is a place for gentleman and all are expected to act as such. We welcome any and all female enthusiasts and aficionados to share in the passion for fine cigars and the pursuit of the good life.

We've noticed some love between you and Tamp Coffee Co. next door. We discovered them through you in fact. Likewise with Crows Nest Barber Shop. How important is it as an independent business to build relationships with others in the community? How does this lend towards your success?

VCC. You're entirely correct, we do love our neighbours at Tamp Coffee Co. It's a perfect synergy between our two businesses that allows people to enhance their cigar experience with a single brew cup of your favourite blend. And as for Crows Nest Barber Shop, those gents are our brothers. Without their help we never would have been able to realize our vision of incorporating the active barber chair into the shop.

It has been a strong belief of ours that creating real relationships with fellow local independent businesses would be a cornerstone to our success. It's important to recognize that although we are all in business and striving to capture the attention of everyone in the community and surrounding areas, together we can do more than apart. Being the only licensed specialty Tobacconist in Burlington with well over 170 open cigar boxes inside our 105 square foot walk-in humidor, we're not out to entice consumers to purchase drink, food, apparel, footwear, etc. We simply want to deliver the best cigar and old school barber shop experience we can. In doing so it only helps our business AND our community to promote and expose fellow independent businesses in the local area.  We are active members of many social media platforms. It's a tremendous way to connect with friends, family and customers in a personal and direct manner. It also allows us to mention and promote other locals in just moments. To date we have done so and have had the favour returned countless times by those sharing the space and we are forever grateful.

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We stumbled upon some events last year. How do you feel hosting events contributes to the overall experience someone has in your shop? Are there any noteworthy events coming up?

VCC. We host one event a month and have done so since our first full month in operation. These events are a tremendous way to bring the cigar smoking community even closer to the inner circle of the cigar world. Our events could be described as Village Cigar Company on PED's. Everything is amplified on these days. The cigar offerings expand, the crowds are larger, the music a little louder, and with the support of appropriate liquor sponsors we are able to procure single day special events liquor licenses which allows the presenting liquor brand to offer information and serve libations to those in attendance. People leave these events with a greater appreciation for the presenting brands and on most occasions they also leave with a greater understanding on how to pair your cigar with appropriate drink - an experience that only enhances the enjoyment of each. Without fail people come back to the shop in the following weeks after these events to both restock on cigars they experienced that day as well as share stories with us about a particular pairing they put together which they cannot stop thinking about. It's a lot of fun.

The first of the year takes place tomorrow from 2:00 -7:00 p.m. featuring My Father Cigars, Casa Magna and Punch (from Honduras) and is supported by the world famous Sailor Jerry spiced rum. Complete information can be found here. We will follow up with an event on Saturday, March 16th featuring the extremely limited release (only 2000 cigars for the world) of the Alec Bradley "Black Market Filthy Hooligan". The wrapper of this cigar is a vibrant green Nicaraguan leaf cured by the Plasencias in Nicaragua and is a perfect compliment to the St. Patrick's Day weekend festivities.

Are there any unique cigars or products you love and would like us to highlight? Do share.

VCC. We strive to deliver two main ingredients to each and every lady and gentleman through our doors. First, you can rest assured that we will have in stock a wide variety of the worlds most popular and valued cigars. If it's your favourite it's likely we will have it for you each and every day (and if not you simply need to ask us and if available to the Canadian market we will acquire it for you). Secondly, we pride ourselves in being very active in the research and understanding of new, unique and limited releases. Each and every week we are emailing and calling our suppliers to enquire about a brand that we do not carry, and in some cases one that no Canadian distributor currently carries so to offer new and exciting options to the community. We already have several cigars that are only available in Canada at VCC and will continue to chase those relentlessly. From Cuba to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua to Honduras and Mexico we will offer the best of the best the world has to offer those who enjoy find hand rolled cigars.

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The Village Cigar Company
2049 Pine St #64,
Burlington, ON L7R 1E9
(905) 681-2012

LocalistStephanie Trendocher