Low Country Pipe and Cigar, our brick and mortar store here in the Myrtle Beach area, played host last Friday to Mark Ryan, who was in town to promote his cigar, the 1881 Perique.
While he was only in town for the day, he came out to see the office, chat with the staff — including myself for a not-as-brief-as-we'd-planned interview, which we'll be publishig next week — and perhaps the highlight of his day: a tour of the Cornell & Diehl plant.
Yeah, Mark loves tobacco, and despite a long history in it, including forming his own tobacco company, Daughters & Ryan, back in 1992, and slightly more recently, acquiring L.A. Poche Perique Tobacco company, Mark was anxious to get his hands dirty in the sorting and mixing trays, swap notes and stories with Jeremy Reeves (Production Manager & Head Blender of Cornell & Diehl) , and show off his latest shipment of Perique.
"You can tell I'm passionate as hell about this stuff. I preserved the history, the tradition and culture of an entire community. It was extinct. The whole world's inventory was a legacy inventory. Right after I bought [the L.A. Poche Perique Tobacco company] I went down two blocks to buy some Po' Boys for my employees and the girl didn't know what Perique was. That same year I was in Dortmund Germany and mentioned Perique and six Germans that didn't speak any English pointed at me and said 'St James Parish.' Cherished around the world and we totally lost the history and culture."
Keep an eye out for the full interview next week, but until then we'll leave you with some highlights from his visit.