How did you end up in this line of work?
I became involved in the wholesale cigar business and eventually operated a kiosk selling cigars in the Prudential Center while simultaneously purchasing and expanding Courthouse Cigar in 1999.
What do you most like and least like about your work?
There are many aspects about the business that are interesting such as the diverse cross-section of people that visit the store. Our customers range from doctors to tradesmen and everything in between. The least? The regulatory intrusion from the government and the tax differences from state-to-state. It’s tough competing with internet sales because people don’t pay taxes when they purchase cigars on-line. We need to be creative about how we market and sell our cigars.
What makes your business unique?
We sell a luxury, a stress-reliever, something that creates quality time for people. Cigar smoking is the ‘great equalizer,’ even the most unlikely pair can sit back and enjoy a cigar together. We mostly serve people in their 30s to mid 70s. We have a relaxed atmosphere, our customers feel very comfortable in our shop right away.
What’s your best-selling product?
I’d have to say Dominican blends are our most popular cigars because they are generally mild in taste. We also sell a great deal of Nicaraguan and Honduran cigars, which are more robust and full-flavored. Now that the weather is getting warmer, our business will pick up again. The cold weather affects our sales as people generally smoke cigars outside, although Christmas is a busy time for us, too. We also sell accessories, pipes, cutters, flasks, humidors and lighters.
What do you like most about Dedham Square?
It’s outstanding that we have a community theater here. Most towns have lost theirs. It’s a big draw for the Square and should be supported by the community!
More about David Walker
Business: Courthouse Cigar
Address: 366 Washington St.
Years in Business: 12
Years in the Square: 12