New York, NY – April 26, 2017 – ABC6 NEWS
Just off of busy Seventh Avenue in Manhattan is a family-owned factory where they have been making handmade cigars now for generations. This diamond in the rough is well known in the neighborhood as Martinez Cigars. It is tucked away in the Chelsea section of NYC, and this retailer has seen a major boost in their online sales over the last year.
Owner Jesus Martinez says, “My father started the business here in New York in 1974. At that time there were many cigar factories not only here in Manhattan, but all over the city and even the county.” With the cost of rents in NYC continuing to rise over the years, it has forced many operations to relocate or simply close up shop.
The Martinez family originally had two locations, one uptown in Inwood in the 1970s, as well as their current location on 29th Street and Seventh Avenue. Due to rent and overhead increases, Martinez decided to close the Inwood location and keep the 29th Street factory open. Today, this location supports four full-time rollers working five days a week, as well as a staff that places labels on the cigars and packages them in boxes for sale.
Martinez Cigars, as with most retailers, have relied heavily on foot traffic and word of mouth for their business over the years and has been a local hangout for decades. Luckily for them, over the last several months they have seen a dramatic increase in their online business.
“Our business overall has been good for us and continues to grow each year. We are very fortunate to have a great base of loyal customers. We are used to people stopping in for lunch or on their way home through Penn Station to buy some smokes. Now, every day we are seeing more and more online orders. We are getting orders from all over the world. My father would be amazed!” says Martinez.
Retailers all over the country are having to work out an online strategy to stay competitive and relevant to their customers, and Martinez is no exception. With the ease of online purchasing and the consumer confidence pushing online demand, it is essential for the family-run businesses to have an online presence these days.
Originally, Martinez Cigars were one hundred percent Dominican cigars; today, they offer a range of their own carefully selected blends and wrappers. Each cigar is made daily in their factory on 29th Street. They do custom cigars bands for special occasions and events as well as special orders.