The idea for The Final Puff probably evolved over time but there was definitely a moment I can think of that helped lead to its creation.
To back up for just a second, my name is Fred Rewey. I have smoked cigars for some time now, created and sold a cigar company, and generally been a fan of all things cigars for as long as I can remember.
When I created my cigar company I felt like someone who won a lottery…a golden ticket if you will. When I first went down to the Dominican Republic it was like going down a rabbit hole of learning.
Check the ego at the border and learn all you can.
Although I expected to be educated on tobacco, it was the people that left their mark on me more than anything.
Flash forward to selling the cigar company.
In late 2018 I sold the cigar company that I built to several hundred stores, eighteen blends, and roughly four dozen sku’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the company…and was not really looking to sell. But with a FDA bomb drop and constant paperwork, it wasn’t as fun for me. My favorite parts were blending cigars, hanging out with consumers, and giving away sticks – some of which were in jeopardy by the FDA.
Once I sold the company I was fairly content sitting on the sidelines, returning to being a cigar enthusiast. Or at least I thought.
In 2021 at the PCA convention in Las Vegas, I was taking the long walk from the Venetian Palazzo tower to the convention hall.
I was walking with someone as we passed numerous other cigar personalities walking in the opposite direction.
It was early in the week so many of which I had not yet run into.
As we passed by, most of them stopped to say hello. Ask how I was doing, to join them for a drink later.
To be honest, it was a little embarrassing. Not because I am a big deal…I am not. It was just that I genuinely knew these people, spent time with them…even made cigars with some of them.
During that stroll, I would think of the last time I saw one of them. Over a drink at a beach or dinner at SAGA, even at someone’s house just talking cigars.
I realized that many consumers would never see these big names, these icons of the industry, the way I got to… as real people.
I wanted to give back to the world a piece of what the cigar community gave to me.
I am sure there are plenty of better people than me to do these interviews. Smarter, more attractive, better speakers. But I doubt they would be more passionate.
It was two days later I put the idea together and walked up to him or her and told my vision.
I wanted an interview in a casual environment.
I wanted a location that they chose (not Zoom, etc).
I didn’t want a ‘sell my latest cigar’ agenda.
I wanted consumers to have an opportunity to ‘see’ these people the way I did.
On my side, that meant three things.
- It wasn’t about me…it was about them.
- I had to ask questions that I already knew the answer to.
- I had to film the entire process to share with others.
Fred “Godfadr” Rewey, The Final Puff Founder
Tracy, my spouse, was more than supportive. Even when I said I wanted us to pay for the whole thing…no sponsor revenue*.
*I didn’t want to add an element that slanted the agenda. Full disclosure? Hiring a full film crew, editor, sound guy, etc was expensive…I probably should have sold some sponsorship lol.
Anyway, that is my story. I hope you enjoy the videos. I hope that you learn something you didn’t know about one of these amazing people in the same way it affected me.
All the best,
Fred “@Godfadr” Rewey