***Following is a rough transcription of the dialog from our interview with Marc Keiser. It is not exactly word for word.***
Seth- Hey everyone this is GoodFellasCigars.com and we are here today at the Golden Leaf in St. Paul Minnesota with non-other than Marc Keiser himself, the founder and owner of Marco V cigars. Glad to have you here today Marc.
Marc- Appreciate you guys having me. Thanks for stopping by.
Seth- To start off; tell us who is Marc Keiser and Marco V cigars for the people out there watching right now who may not know much about you or your company.
Marc- Yah, its – I’ll give you a little bit of background on the business. Essentially we founded in 2009. But the business plan was written at the University of St. Thomas. and it was in that program that where we learned how to write the business plan but, it was also to put together components of the business and after that it took about four years and we developed the blends and we launched in 2009 and now we are sitting at about 140 retail locations nationally caring our product. Just launched our first Marco V cigar lounge and have some complementary products as well.
Seth – Alright, what really inspired you to create your own cigar company?
Marc – Marco V is essentially established on three basic components. The first one is rooted in the passion for cigars like I have, like you guys have as well. I can remember as a little kid reading the industry trade magazines even before I was smoking cigars, fascinated with the art, the culture, and it was even then I knew it knew it was more than just getting a buzz or blowing your head off with a supper strong cigar. It was more about sit’n around kind of like we’re doing right now and the community of cigar smoking.
Nick – Definitely
Marc – So when I started smoking cigars I kind of knew what cigar I liked and which brought us to the second element that is trying to find a cigar I’d like to smoke in a shop like the one we are sitting in here today. As you know in Minnesota along with other states they’re very taxed abused and so I wanted to go into a cigar shop find a high quality cigar sit down, smoke for an hour and a half and also give my money to small business owners as well. Unfortunately I could not find that cigar at I price that I thought was reasonable. The cigar I like was the sixty ring gauge cigars that had some power and some strength to it and the price and the retail location with the taxed was not what I thought it should be.
So I did what a lot of cigar smoker do and went to buying online and what I found was that the quality couldn’t be guaranteed. One out of every three cigars would blow up on me or else I would get a big canoe. And so what I wanted was to into a shop sit down for about an hour smoke the cigar and patronize the small businesses.
The third element was a deep seeded passion for entrepreneurship. So I went to school as an entrepreneur, went to school to learn how to write a business plan. I always knew I wanted to write a business and so it was with those three elements that Marco V came together. So I wrote the business plan at the University of St. Thomas and we launched Marco V and brought an affordable large ring gauge cigar to the shops.