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Cigar News: On Location at RoMa Craft Tobac’s New Headquarters in Austin

29 Feb 2016

A couple weeks ago, on February 13, I asked Skip Martin of RoMa Craft Tobac to join me for lunch. We both happened to be in Austin for the weekend (I live in Chicago, he makes his home in Estelí, Nicaragua), and we both happen to enjoy over-eating BBQ.

Our get together—which ended up being almost a whole day—afforded me the opportunity to visit RoMa Craft Tobac’s new headquarters, as well as gather some interesting information about what many consider to be one of the world’s premier boutique tobacco outfits. So today I figured I’d share some highlights from our visit, as well as a few photos.

Stiles Switch

First off, anyone who follows Skip Martin on social media knows he loves to take pictures of his food almost as much as he loves eating. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap a pic of him taking a picture of our mountain of meat at Stiles Switch, a top-notch BBQ joint he recommended. If you have the opportunity, make sure to stop by. I’d especially recommend the beef rib and the jalapeño sausage.

Interior

After consuming mass quantities of meat, we took a 20-minute drive north to stop by an office park just off US-183. There, Skip and his business partner Mike Rosales are in the process of transforming a former industrial facility into RoMa Craft Tobac’s headquarters. This destination is expected to be more than just a location to receive shipments from Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueño and fulfill orders. The duo is also outfitting the 4,000-square-foot space with a craft beer bar and other cigar-friendly amenities so they can welcome interested tobacconists (by appointment), display their cigar lineup, and entertain.

Storage

Nica Sueño, the Estelí factory managed by Martin, is currently manufacturing 1.2 million cigars per year. Most of these cigars are sold to RoMa Craft, which is a separate company. These cigars will arrive in Austin already aged, boxed, and packaged, where they will be housed in a humidified storage room until they are shipped across the country.

Conference Room

Work at the headquarters is still underway, yet it’s certainly a welcoming space to enjoy a cigar or two right now—especially if Martin shares a little of his extensive craft beer collection (I think he said he had over 2,000 bottles on site). We had cigars at this conference table while sampling a few fine beers.

Jester King

Speaking of beer, Skip assured me no visit to Austin would be complete without a stop at Jester King, a brewery about 40 minutes southwest of RoMa Craft. This place was well worth the drive for several reasons. First, the picturesque grounds struck me as more vineyard than brewery (think Texas hill country), with ample outdoor space to enjoy a cigar while taking in the view. Second, Jester King’s lineup of “wild ales” and “spontaneously fermented beers” is a joy to taste and learn about. And third, Jester King exchanges its rare beers with many other craft breweries, enabling visitors to purchase hard-to-find beers not only from Jester King’s stock, but from breweries all over the world.

While the RoMa Craft headquarters in Austin is not intended for retail or walk-ins, Skip says you should have the chance to check it out at one of the twice-yearly BBQ events he plans to throw starting this summer. These CroMagnon Culture gatherings—which will feature cigars, BBQ, and craft beer—will be ideal for those who want to learn about cigars without making the trip all the way to Nicaragua.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

2 Responses to “Cigar News: On Location at RoMa Craft Tobac’s New Headquarters in Austin”

  1. Skip Martin Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:19 am #

    It was my pleasure brother. You’re welcome anytime.

  2. Frank Reynolds Monday, February 29, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    Looks like you guys had an awesome day. Thanks for the pics and info. Love me some RoMa Craft!