Fred Rewey has sold Nomad Cigar Company to Chris Kelly and Kyle Hoover of Ezra Zion. Fred details the sale in an open letter he sent out today:
Orlando, Florida (September 13, 2018)
[Open Letter from Fred Rewey, Founder of Nomad Cigar Company]
When I started Nomad in 2012, I had no idea where it would go. I was just another cigar enthusiast with an eagerness to learn more about the process in a hands-on fashion.
In my case, with an extensive marketing background, the creation of Nomad was never about money, it was a labor of love and passion for cigars. It meant checking the ego at the border and spending time in the fields and factories learning all I could.
In seven years Nomad grew to a level beyond my expectations. What started with one blend and one size has grown to 16 blends and 46 SKUs.
With that growth came numerous areas of responsibility.
Instead of an exclusive focus on marketing, first-hand interaction with consumers, and blending cigars (the parts I love), it turned into bookkeeping, sales projections, and government compliance.
Frankly, the company grew to a point that my attention was pulled in different directions and wearing unlimited ‘hats’. Which, in the back of my mind, could someday equate to something being missed.
I never cut any corners with Nomad. I never left anything on the table and kept quality as the highest priority…well below bottom line profits.
Working with some of the best factories and true Master blenders took my knowledge to levels I never would have predicted. Along the way I have made friends that will last a lifetime.
Over the last several years, there were numerous inquiries into my willingness (or not) to sell Nomad. If I was to ever entertain the idea, it had to be to someone that not only understood the brand, its un-sacrificing core beliefs, but also the responsibility that comes with being boutique.
I have known Chris and Kyle with Ezra Zion for several years. Worked side-by-side with them when we were together at Emilio Cigars [now Boutiques Unified]. Although there will be many more details coming out over the next several days, I can say that I feel confident not only in them taking Nomad Cigar Company to the next level, but also preserving what has brought it to this point.
I thank all the Nomad retailers, consumers, and other manufacturers that have been so supportive all these years – I couldn’t have done it without you.
All in all it has been an amazing seven years and I look forward to what the future will bring.
As for me, my commitment and dedication to the cigar industry has not changed. I plan on remaining in some capacity that not only fits my skill set but also my passion to smoke cigars.
On Friday, September 14, Ezra Zion issued their press release on the acquisition:
“Nomad is an artisan boutique brand with an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship. Fred has been a close friend and colleague for years. We’re honored to be entrusted with such an institution.” stated Ezra Zion owner Chris Kelly.
Nomad Cigars will be distributed nationally by TX Distribution, which is owned by Ezra Zion and operates from their warehouses in Alvord, Texas.
“I feel confident that not only will Chris and Kyle take Nomad Cigar Company to the next level, but will also preserve what has brought it to this point.” noted Fred Rewey.
Nomad blends currently in the market will continue to be available from retail brick and mortar shops.
“So where are we taking Nomad? Well, we’ve got some very special blends just waiting to be released—really next level stuff! We will definitely be doing some very cool limited offerings under the Nomad brand.” noted Ezra Zion owner Kyle Hoover.
“We’d like an outlet for our more edgy and experimental stuff—both in terms of cigar making and also art concepts. There are some ideas that we feel might not exactly fit as an Ezra Zion release. Nomad gives us the chance to color outside the lines.” added Kelly.
The companies are currently transitioning business operations and logistics, etc. During this transition, Nomad retailers can continue to order from their current Nomad sales reps.
More branding updates and wholesale ordering instructions will be available soon.
“Our goal is to have the “New Nomad” unveiled to the public soon. I think people are going to be very stoked!” added Hoover.
Update: The story was updated with the press release information from Ezra Zion
Cigar News: Nomad Cigar Company Sold