RUNS IMPORTING BUSINESS
David A. Seitchik has transformed his 23 year love for
cigars into a business, Connoisseur Imports in Hatboro, PA. Seitchik, 40, is profoundly
deaf. He explains his love: "I have smoked over 800 different brands of cigars
worldwide. Cigars are like fine aged Bordeaux wines to be enjoyed to the fullest sense...
Cigars are social bonding experience which brings out the best from people who enjoy
quality time with quality products..."
Hearing about Seitchik's educational upbringing and varied
adventures in the world is as amazing as his love for cigars! He attended both the
Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and Lexington School for the Deaf in New York City before
attending Abington Friends High School and eventually received his Bachelor of Arts degree
in biology with minors in sociology, anthropology and psychology from Beaver College in
1982. Then he attended University of Penn School of Dental Medicine for two years but
decided dental medicine did not interest him.
What followed was an interesting trail... he went into the
cookie business, then a car detailing business, even ran a successful West Coast Video
Store before he entered "this wonderful import/distributor cigar business"!
Entering World Of Cigars
"For you health freaks, cigars are not as bad as
cigarettes as shown in medical studies," Seitchik explains, "Moderation is the
key to enjoyment of cigars. One cigar at the end of the day is a good way to spend the
evening relaxing with a good glass of port!" A very good sales pitch, huh?!
He credits his girlfriend, Lore Rosenthal, a certified
interpreter and former special project coordinator at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
for encouraging Seitchik's interest. "After watching me work my way up to start this
business, she decided to resign from PA School to work with me as an Account Executive...
I am saying this as my way of saying thank you for being so supportive... she has done
wonders with many things in this new business. We realized that we need each other to make
this business a real success. It takes a lot of guts and drive to start the business while
having a serious relationship at the same time. It takes a lot of patience and being
supportive to each other through the highs and lows of running the start-up importing
Like any business, it takes a lot of work and
making contacts to make the business succeed. Seitchik explained that he spent one full
year tracking down a premium cigar to import in the U.S. After much maneuvering, faxes,
face to face meetings, traveling and sleepless nights, he was selected from eight other
importers to become the sole worldwide exclusive importer for this premium cigar brand,
'Selecto Puro Dominicano'.
Seitchik has made several trips to the Dominican Republic to
coordinate production of this cigar brand to his specifications. Here, again, he couldn't
resist another sales pitch: "My cigar, Selecto Puro Dominicano is made of tobacco
grown and rolled in Villa Gonzalez in the Valle del Yaque.
This beautiful town is in a valley which makes the world's
greatest cigars... better than Cuban cigars in many aspects... They have the best climate,
soil and experienced cigar rollers that no where else can compete with... I am using the
finest tobacco aged for two years. This cigar is made with richest Dominican Piloto-Cubano
long filler, hand-selected Domanican Olor binder and beautiful, dark-brown velvety
Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. We sell Selecto Puro Dominicano in seven different sizes.
Different sizes offers different smoking experiences due to proportions of highest graded
His company, Connoisseur Imports, is in a brand new warehouse
where he receives shipments of cigars for distribution to other retailers, distributors
and private customers nationally. "We import an average of 40,000 cigars a month...
we sell to other countries such as Barbados, etc. Asia is my next step."
Connoisseur Imports also sells cigar accessories including
cigar cutters, lighters and humidors. Among their future plans: additional accessories
such as rare cognac-laced cigars, give premium cigar world wide name recognition through
aggressive advertising in tobacco trade magazines.
Effort And Obstacles?
"It is a lot of hard work," Seitchik points
out, "14 hours a day work week..." There is not enough time in the day to
accomplish so many wonderful opportunities! It is difficult to do business via relay
service. I have found many ways to get around this problem... I have access to Internet to
drop messages to interested parties that I found through various web sites... we send out
many letters with free cigar samples to tobacconists, cigar clubs, and private customers
to encourage interest...
"I consider myself a reformed Jew. I had my
Bar Mitzvah. I celebrate all Jewish Holidays with family and friends. I usually attend
several different synagogues. [My girlfriend] Lore is an involved member of her Jewish
organization. She also knows how to interpret spoken Hebrew into ASL, a talent that is
rare", he says proudly.
Interested cigar customers can contact David .