We have been slightly behind on getting the last of the awards out but thankfully this week they will be all wrapped up. This award, which goes to the company who we felt had the best year in the business for a handful of reasons goes to Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. It might come to no surprise to see that name on this award after the last few years that Steve Saka and Co have had.
One of the biggest things here for DTT is the continued growth in 2023 from 2022. Rumors began to swirl during Day 2 of the 2023 Premium Cigar Association Trade Show & Convention that DTT had already tripled its sales from the entire 2022 show. While I do not have those specific numbers, it wouldn’t be hard to believe given how many release Steve brought to the show and the amount of retailers and consumers I know purchased these cigars. We saw the follow up to the 2022 Mi Querida Black “SakaKhan” which went on to be a huge favorite with the “PapaSaka”, a smaller version that took the #3 spot on our Top 25 Cigar list in 2023. Add in the national release of Red Meat Lovers Club, the next iteration of Muestra de Saka called “Krakatoa”, two new unicorns each representing Mi Querida Black and Sobremesa Blue, Polpetta regular production and a new event only cigar, there was plenty to talk about from DTT. Most of these cigars went on to perform very well on many lists including our own and showed that Steve still has the palate for blending good no…great cigars.
Steve also continued to be a very accessible person in the cigar community via social media which is one of the things we have celebrated him for. It makes him especially more accessible to the consumer base and more engaging as a brand owner which I find makes a lasting impact on the people who spend their money on your products. This is one of the things that contributes to their successful cult following of people who seem to buy their cigars no matter what. I mean…I can’t fault anyone here. DTT is producing some of the best products around, but they also know how to market them.
For a smaller brand who it seems is fighting a good fight for the market space more than many other great little brands out there, they make it look easy. But I know there is so much hard work and long hours that go on just to keep the lights on let alone grow. This company has shown that they were not just a hip little brand for a year or so, they keep coming back and taking bigger swings and hitting the ball harder and further. Congrats Steve, Cindy and the rest of the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust group for a hell of a year in 2023.