"Deep Cuts" is a series featuring candid conversations and interviews with entrepreneurs and innovators.
DEEP CUTS – SEASON 1, EPISODE 35: KARL AND KADEE MALONE, KARL MALONE BARREL AGED
An interview with Karl "The Mailman" Malone and his daughter, Kadee. Many know Karl from his long professional basketball career as a power forward for the Utah Jazz–but that's only part of his story. Malone is an entrepreneur with his own retail store in Ruston, Louisiana, Legends Cigar & Vape, a distributor of rum and also for owning his own cigar brand, Barrel Aged by Karl Malone. In this interview, Karl and his daughter discuss his career, his love of hunting, Alaska and passion for cigars.
DEEP CUTS – SEASON 1, EPISODE 34: ERIK ESPINONSA, ESPINOSA PREMIUM CIGARS
How is making cigars a lot like cooking? That's the question Erik Espinosa, owner and founder of Espinosa Premium tackles in this interview. Erik didn't always like cigars while he was growing up but the older he got, the more he came to appreciate the lifestyle and art behind making a cigar. Learn how this entrepreneur built his business to not only achieve success but to build a cult following among cigar enthusiasts around the world.
DEEP CUTS – SEASON 1, EPISODE 33: SEAN WILLIAMS, COHIBA CIGARS
Often times in our career, we're faced with how to bring new life and excitement into an already established product or brand. How do you push that product into the future while honoring its past? That's a question that Sean Williams has had to deal with as the brand ambassador for Cohiba Cigars. Williams talks about his past in cigar blending and how building his own brand led to the opportunity to help manage a brand with worldwide recognition.
DEEP CUTS – SEASON 1, EPISODE 32: TERENCE REILLY, AGANORSA LEAF
You're selling a product in a niche market where the focus is more so on the product than a personality. This is a scenerio faced by many people working in sales and marketing today and something this episode's guest, Terence Reilly, deals with on a regular basis. Terence is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Aganorsa Leaf, a company that not only grows tobacco in Nicaragua but makes its own cigars as well. Terence shares how he's helped to rebrand the company to put the focus on its tobacco and its cigars and how focusing on the consumer's experience has been his company's pathway to success in a competitive market.
DEEP CUTS – SEASON 1, EPISODE 31: RICK ARDITO, BUGATTI GROUP
How do you sell a product when you're facing challenges such as negative attitudes, crowded marketplace, or unexpected occurrences like the coronavirus? You think positively and turn to sales experts like Rick Ardito. Currently Rick is the national sales director for Bugatti Group where he's selling an innovative collection of torch lighters but he's help sell everything from humidors to premium cigars. He shares his experience and reasons for remaining positive and reveals tricks of the trade, including how mentioning a popular coffee franchise can get you out of many uncomfortable situations.
DEEP CUTS – SEASON 1, EPISODE 30: JUAN LOPEZ, GURKHA CIGARS
In the digital age, why are brick and mortar retailers still so important to the cigar industry? That's a question we tackle in this interview with Juan Lopez, the National Sales Director for Gurkha Cigars. Juan has worked in the premium cigar industry since the mid 1990s during the famed Cigar Boom and has seen cigars go from being so in demand that manufacturers struggled to keep up with demand to a time where it's harder to get shelf space in a retail store. Juan talks about his experience selling cigars and dives into the history of Gurkha Cigars, a brand that's celebrated its 30th anniversary just last year.