Tobacconist University
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Sunday, October 7, 2007

TU vs. CCU

Internet traffic is a funny thing. Today I woke up to see that we got hundreds of visits from Sweden. Some days we are big in Europe, Asia, Latin America, but mostly our visitors come from the north eastern part of the United States. Since we haven’t really marketed TU, we rely on word of mouth and passionate individuals to spread the word. But there is always a bit of mystery when people in the middle east or far off countries find TU. Fortunately, once they find us, they are hooked and we see them coming back regularly.
Between Sweden and the cigarfamily website today, I noticed we get lots of hits/links to Cuban Cigar University (CCU). Frankly, I’m just glad people visit, but I thought this would be a good time and place to clarify the relationship and differences between TU and CCU.
I started CCU as the in-house training college for my retail Tobacconists, following a research and educational trip to Cuba in 1996. It became so popular that we started giving public courses and Certifications to consumers as well as Tobacconists. By 2003, we incorporated CCU into TU and the TU website. CCU was cigar focused. TU is a much broader and more ambitious project intended to benefit ALL retail Tobacconists, consumers, and the industry. Ultimately, it just seemed selfish to hoard all of the CCU work just for ourselves, so the concept of TU emerged. Today there is a CCU website (address) and people all over the world find it and use it on a regular basis: I think the word “Cuba” carries a lot of weight in consumers’ minds. But that site is really just the Tobacconist University site. So, in case you are wondering why the content is the same, that is because Tobacconist University emerged from Cuban Cigar University. And hopefully, one day, the word TOBACCONIST will carry as much weight as Cuba…

Jorge Armenteros, CMT

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