We strive to bring our customers the best cigars that are offered in the industry at La Cultura. While we can’t carry every cigar from every vendor, there is a brand we do pretty much carry everything we can get our hands on.
Introduction to RoMa Craft
RoMa Craft is a brand I watched from the early beginning to where the company stands today. I was only a month into my career in the cigar industry at XIKAR and four years into smoking cigars in March 2011. I saw a lot of chatter coming from Skip Martin about a new cigar line he was working on to go straight to the consumer. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to taste some of the cigars and knew Martin was onto something big.
Fast forward four years to the then IPCPR trade show where Skip came by the XIKAR booth. Skip had an old pair of XIKAR scissors and asked our engineer, Rob Lembke, about getting them replaced saying “This is all I use to cut my cigars.” Rob pointed out that this particular style had been updated and replaced. Skip doubled down and repeated “That’s great, but this is all I use to cut my cigars.”
A week goes by and Rob comes into my office. “Hey Mike, you know of a Skip Martin from RoMa Craft?” and repeated the above story to me. I laughed and thought to myself, “Skip seems particular, but I didn’t know he was that particular. Rob needed to get Skip’s contact information and it turned out, his email address was misplaced and I was tasked with reaching out to Skip…
RoMa Craft Accessories
What happened next was the beginning of a relationship between RoMa Craft and XIKAR with accessories. The first accessory the two companies worked on was the “Monolith” commemorative set with the CroMagnon cigar line marking RoMa’s and XIKAR partnership for the first five years.
The term “Weasel Team Six” was coined by XIKAR COO Tim Webster during the initial brainstorming session in Kansas City. It was done as a play on Seal Team VI and the Weasel moniker that RoMa had adopted early on. Tim fancied himself an astute weasel and saw this as a way to keep his stock of RoMa in large supply. I pushed for Weasel Team XI instead and use the XIKAR “XI” logo. It didn’t stick. If you know me well you know I’m not afraid to swing and miss.
Fast forward a year later, XIKAR hired RoMa fanboy, John D’Oliver, to manage the Texas sales region. I long joked we only had John long enough for RoMa to make room for him. John joined RoMa Craft in November 2018 just as predicted.
Joining La Cultura
I made the switch from tobacco accessory vendor side and joined the La Cultura family with Ben Gardner and Dave Swinburne in September of 2020. Ben already had a strong relationship selling RoMa Craft cigars at this point, and now I am tasked with trying to sell more RoMa Craft cigars than I could ever smoke! Whether I succeed at the venture on a given day, I never really lose.
RoMa Craft is a cornerstone of what we what we stand for at La Cultura. I realized Skip being particular in how he faces life translates to his craft of making cigars. During brainstorming sessions at the XIKAR office, Skip and Mike Rosales shared how they approach business. They explained how they treat employees in Nicaragua, from helping with education costs, to ensuring above industry standard wages at the factory. Skip and Mike also explain how important quality control is in their process of tobacco leaf selection. the cigar doesn’t get made if a leaf isn’t up to their high standards. The two owners also described their difficulty being maxed out on accounts because of their unwillingness to compromise to quality standards. These are hallmarks of not chasing money. This is the trademark of a cigar company making some of the best cigars you can smoke. I couldn’t be more proud to be a RoMa Craft cigar retailer.