Have you been to the lower east side recently? A while back, I wrote a biddy about a soon-to-be open cigar shop there. Well, there’s a great new! A little cigar shop called Maraya is now open for business. Guss’ pickles used to be there, but now, it’s now one of the classiest little cigar shops around. I actually met the co-owners Kevin and Joy – two designers who decided to dive in heart-first into the world of boutique cigars.
As you probably already know, boutique cigars are all the rage these days. Like boutique wines from places like Napa or Sonoma valleys, boutique cigars really taste great – as compared to their mass-produced counterparts.
And you know what? Maraya is one of the most boutique cigar companies I’ve ever visited. They actually have Cuban exiled rollers who roll one of their lines. The roller for the other line used to manage quality control in the Arturo Fuente factory – I can see the quality in the sticks.
The real treats are the cigars themselves. When Kevin opened up that handsome standing humidor, I was treated to a divine waft of finely aged tobacco. Their concept of cigars is a unique one. Kevin says that the artisan nature of cigar-making is akin to gourmet food and drink, and fine arts, like dancing and music. Their two cigar lines, the Tango (vibrant) and the Piano (soft), are named accordingly.
Kevin was awesome. Although you’re not supposed to smoke in the shop he’ll help you light up your cigar there anyway and then he’ll chat with you for a bit. What a nice guy!
For the readers that are in New York, you can definitely visit them at their store. For everyone else, although their website is not up yet, the owners tell me that it will be up soon and you’ll be able to order them online.
I’ll put up a post to let you know what I think of the smokes.