Many origin stories of legendary cigar manufacturers date back over a century and involve generations of men finetuning their fathers’ practices to create the ultimate brand of quality cigars. However, that’s not the case with Kristoff Cigars, which was established in 2004. Yet, despite the short length of time that this company has been in operation, they’ve already more than made their mark on cigar history as we know it, and that’s all because of Glen Case.
Before 2004, Glen Case was an established banker. Despite his enormous success, he wasn’t satisfying his creative side. What he knew was that if there was one hobby that he was passionate about, it was cigars. Glen had been an avid cigar enthusiast since the tender age of 18, and understood what separated the best from the rest.
The corporate world can launch many men into enormous success, but it can also wear a man down. And, in 2000, Glen had decided that he had had enough. Tired of the long hours and limited time spent with his family, he consulted with his wife about changing directions. And, going into cigars was a no-brainer considering his passion for the industry. Even better, Glen’s wife Teri was a cigar broker, having learned the trade from her father.
So, Glen decided to partner with Teri and represent American cigar brands. While this was successful at first, he discovered that it was limiting. After a while, one of his top companies decided they no longer needed his services because of how successful they had become with his help. So, Glen decided that it was time to make cigars of his own.
Legendary Dominican cigar house Charles Fairmorn quickly reached out to Glen, asking him to represent one of their new U.S.-based cigars. Upon learning that he was no longer a broker, they urged him to visit their factory in order to be able to develop hands-on experience and create his own blend. The head of Charles Fairmorn, Rolando Villamil, personally oversaw Glen’s first venture into cigar-making in order to ensure that he was creating a quality product. It took less than a month before Glen was successfully producing and selling cigars.
After creating a few successful cigars, Glen decided to officially launch his Kristoff cigars. The name comes from his son, Christopher. The first was the Criollo, followed by the Maduro. Both quickly became successful, and before long, he had 18 different blends to his name.
Today, both of these cigars remain his most popular, and for good reason. They’re truly luxurious cigars that are unlike anything else on the market. The majority of his cigars are made at the Charles Fairmorn factory, although he has expanded to other facilities for a few specialty cigars. He focuses primarily on mild and medium-mild cigars, knowing that they go over well with both the American and European markets. And, Glen uses his background in finance to ensure that the business runs smoothly so that he may continue for a long time to come.
While America makes up most of his market, Europe continues to expand. Therefore, it’s clear that Kristoff Cigars isn’t going anywhere. Glen continues to be hands-on in his approach to maintaining his business, as he believes this ensures the consistent quality that customers have come to expect.
If there’s one thing to learn from Glen Case’s story, it’s that cigar-making isn’t for families that have been in the business for decades. Anyone can turn their dream into a reality if they’re willing to take a risk and dedicate their lives to delivering quality.