Tobacconist University – Educating Consumers & Tobacconist on Luxury Tobacco

Can’t tell Burley from Cavendish? Don’t know what is so special about Latakia or Perique .. or don’t even know how to say it? Or, maybe you do, but you have had the misfortune to walk into a cigar or pipe store to have the clerk behind the counter feed you some rubbish you know isn’t true. Hopefully those days will soon be over thanks to Tobacconist University.

Tobacconist University is a unique organization with the mission of educating both consumers and tobacconists. (Disclosure: The author and owner of this website has provided web development services to the Tobacconist University website.)

TU is committed to helping brick & mortar tobacconists succeed while helping bring credibility to the luxury tobacco industry.

More than 40 professional tobacconists from across the country have qualified to become Certified Retail Tobacconists by Tobacconist University, the official curriculum resource of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

Those receiving their CRT accreditation include:


Joseph McDonough and Gary A. Griffith of Cigarette City, Inc. in Newark, Delaware;

Jim Luftman and Michael J. Cain of Blue Havana II in Alpharetta, Georgia and Allan Buelvas of Smoking Joe’s Cigar Company in Marietta, Georgia;

Peter J. Worth of Kaw Kaw’s Cigar Society and Ron Carroll of Iwan Ries & Co, both in Chicago, Illinois;

John J. Vanore of Titan Cigar in Gambrills, Maryland;

Kevin L. Baxter, Tim Claytor, Dirick Matteson, Bradley Oldham, and C. Scott Powell with Outlaw Cigar Co in Kansas City, Missouri;

New Jersey
Jorge Armenteros was named Certified Master Tobacconist and the designation of Certified Retail Tobacconist went to Aly A. Badran, Jeffrey A. Davis, R. Sloane Franklin, John T. Richardson and William P. Harvey. All are with A Little Taste of Cuba in Princeton, New Jersey;

James C. Wilson of Sandusky Bay Cigars in Sandusky, Ohio;

Lee S. Lavinson of Holt’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Jonathan Rebmann of Puffs N Stuff in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Kathryn L. Bellando, Nathaniel Chase, Christian R. Fernandez, Dennis E. Guevara and Charles Stockton with A Little Taste of Cuba in New Hope, Pennsylvania;

Jimmy Edwards and Jose R. Torres, Jr of C.I.G.A.R. in San Antonio, Texas;

Kevin Edmiston with Winston’s Humidor in Richmond, Virginia;

Washington, D.C.
Jordan Baines, Andrew Chase, Edward W. Guehm III, Walter Gorski, Yoon Robert Kim, Adam K. Levy, Michael F. Nolan, R. Adam Shepherd, and Zeke M. Williams with Georgetown Tobacco in Washington, D.C.

Selected professional tobacconists are awarded CMT or CRT recognition after participating in an academic curriculum and testing process that enables them to achieve superior technical and marketing knowledge about premium cigars, pipes, loose tobacco and related accessories.

1 Response

  • Great info Kevin!
    That looks like a great site and I’m sure that I’ll be spending a fair bit of my free time perusing their site!