The Founder Series — Interview with the founders of Ralberto
This is the first of many interviews that we are going to be doing along the year. There are a lot of good projects related to cigars booming all over the internet and we want to concentrate them in one place and of course, giving exposure to the founders behind it.
Today’s interview is with two friends from The Netherlands that combined their passion for cigars with their tech skills, creating a low-cost and highly customizable cigar stand.
All Things Cigars: Tell us a bit more about how you came into the cigar world.
DrRobbert: I started smoking cigars in the first year of my veterinary medicine study in Utrecht (2000) where I was invited by the Veterinary Cigar Association to join them. The very first cigar I smoked there was a short filler called “Ivory” from the Dutch manufacturer “De Olifant”. It was a very pleasant experience. Since then I smoked lots of short fillers but after a few years I “discovered” Cuban long fillers which I smoke nowadays.
Ralfster91: I smoked my first cigar when I was with friends on a BBQ. As a dessert, they brought some Don Tomas cigars. As we smoked these sticks I knew I liked it. After that, a friend gave me one cigar to bring home and when I smoked in peace in my garden after having a pretty rough day, the relaxation that came over me was something that I wanted more of. The next day I picked up a new cigar and that's when I started.
All Things Cigars: Do you want to tell us a bit about your background?
DrRobbert: I’m a vet and I own several veterinary clinics. Entrepreneur and family man with two wonderful daughters and a great wife.
Ralfster91: I am a salesman and advisor in my daily job, working towards my Bachelor in Commercial economics and also an entrepreneurial mindset. My other passion is motorcycles and love to combine a ride with a big cigar.
All Things Cigars: What is your product and what do you want to achieve with it?
Both: A 3D printed cigar stand. At the moment we have several models, the classic is a square-shaped stand and the newest is a stand composed of the words #BOTL and #SOTL referring to our brothers and sisters of the leaf in this great community. Our aim is to provide nice and unique cigar accessories at a reasonable price. We are working on something really nice that we will launch this year…
All Things Cigars: Where did the idea come from?
DrRobbert: I saw a stand on Instagram which was 3D printed and thought: ”Hey that’s cool!” So I bought a 3D printer and started designing.
All Things Cigars: It seems that it is kind of a trend to customize everything in cigar items. Is your product customizable? What was the strangest order you’ve had so far?
Both: Yes it is. We started off with personalization of the classic stand. You can get your name on it (depending on the number of characters though). We’ve just started so there’s nothing strange going on yet, maybe after this interview ;-)
All Things Cigars: How can people order your product and what is your biggest market?
Both: At this moment our website is being built so if you are interested just send us a DM to @DrRobbert or @Ralbertocigars and we will contact you. The cigar community is operating worldwide. We have customers from the US to Norway, from Bulgaria to Japan.
All Things Cigars: How do you get around the ban that social networks create to tobacco-related products?
Both: For now we get around it because we do not sell tobacco, and we have not encountered any negativity towards our product.
All Things Cigars: Do you have any personality in the cigar world that you admire?
DrRobbert: Not in particular
Ralfster91: For me, there is only one. Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm not saying his success comes from the enjoyment of cigars, but I'm sure it did help!
All Things Cigars: What is your main piece of advice to the new cigar smokers out there?
DrRobbert: Start smoking big cigars for they usually have a mild character and don’t be afraid to ask anybody in the community for advice. Most of the BOTL and SOTL out there are willing to help you.
Ralfster91: Smoke in moderation, only one at the time. (Mark Twain)
All Things Cigars: Finally, what was your first cigar and what is now your Top 3?
1. Cohiba 1966 (Edición Limitada 2011);
2. Trinidad La Trova;
3. Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills.
1. Partagas Series D No. 4 2011;
2. Partagas Mille Fleur;
3. Montecristo No. 4.
All Things Cigars: Thanks guys for such a great initiative and good luck with your sales.
Both: Thank you for the opportunity to talk about our product and thank you for your dedication to the cigar community.
All Things Cigars brings you the best cigar accessories, amazing prices, great customer service, quality materials and great designs for every price point. Get to know our products at allthingscigars.com