PCA 2022: Quality Importers Trading Co.

Having covered the IPCPR/PCA convention and trade show for several years now, there are still companies where I need to pause and remind myself of what all might be waiting for me inside the booth before entering. One such company is Quality Importers Trading Co., which over the decade I’ve been doing this has added a number of brands to its portfolio and now includes XIKAR, Palió, Stinky, Humidor Supreme, Cigar Caddy, Hydra, Hygroset, Shuriken, Get-a-Grip Cigar Clip and Div Pro.

But what I also had to remember is that the company has added two new people since the last show: Alex Goldman, who joined the company in August 2021 as COO and added the President in his capacity in July; and Michael Giannini, who joined the company in June as the new head of customer engagement. While this site writes a lot about new products, there are people behind those products, and the addition of Goldman and Giannini – looks like there’s a nickname waiting to be created there – will take Quality Importers and its brands in its next chapter, which was being called IQ 3.0. We know from his time at General Cigar Co. with La Gloria Cubana and Ventura Cigar Co. that Giannini brings a unique and distinctive approach to branding and marketing, so I’m intrigued to see how he makes his mark in this new role.

In addition to the new products that were on display in the display cases around the perimeter of the booth, Quality Importers also made special mention of what it calls the Swag Bunker, its in-house customization studio that can add logos and artwork to a number number of company products. It has been an important part of Quality Importers offerings for several years, and the company has recently invested in new and improved equipment to produce higher quality options and produce more than it was able to do before.

Supreme Porto First Responder Series Humidor

Quality Importers pays tribute to firefighters, police officers and the military with its First Responder series of humidifiers. Each is printed at the company’s Swag Bunker and contains between 40 and 70 cigars. The humidor measures 12.5 x 8.75 x 4.5 inches and includes a humidor, cedar-lined interior, Spanish cedar divider, hygrometer, and gold-plated hinges.

MSRP: $139.99

Production: regular production

Release date: September 2022

Supreme Traveler 20 Humidor Greek Mythology Series

The Traveler 20 gets a trio of new designs that take inspiration from Greek mythology, namely Hercules, Poseidon and Atlas, from left to right. The Traveler 20 is a smaller humidor that holds approximately 20 cigars and measures 10.625 x 8.75 x 3.1875 inches and comes with a humidor.

MSRP: $57.99

Production: regular production

Release date: October 2022

Hydra BLACK

The Hydra Electronic Humidifier adds a black color option. The Hydra comes in two sizes, the LG – or large – which can handle humidors up to 16 cubic feet, while the SM – or small – is rated for humidors up to 8 cubic feet. Both feature a large LED display, 30-second humidity reports, adjustable Hygroset technology, two external fan ports, and an audible and visual low water indicator. The LG adds a second internal fan and a handheld remote with a 54″ wire.

MSRP: $340.99 (large), $177.99 (small)

Production: regular production.

Release date: September 2022

Palio Lazio

The Lazio is a simple torch lighter designed to be both handheld and handheld. The flame is angled up and away from the body of the lighter’s metal body, while a large flame adjuster on the bottom makes it easy to select the ideal flame height, and a large fuel window shows how much butane remains in the tank. It is offered in five colors: red, blue, black with a rubberized finish, chrome and bronze plated.

MSRP: $14.99

Production: regular production

Release date: July 2022

Palio Tazza

This new ashtray from Palió includes eight cigar rests and features an internal bowl dimension of 7 x 4 inches. It’s crafted from metal and finished in plating or powder coating for durability, with four colors offered: polished stainless steel, black nickel, copper, and matte blue.

MSRP: $59.99 – $69.99

Production: regular production

Release date: October 2022

Palio Tazza Alta

The Tazza is available in another configuration, still offering eight cigar rests, although the ring on this version is removable so the bowl can be customized by the Swag Bunker team. It’s a slightly different shape, with its internal dimensions measuring 6 x 6 inches. Like the Tazza above, the Alta version is metal and finished in plating or powder coating for durability, and is available in polished stainless steel, black nickel, copper and matte blue.

MSRP: $64.99-75.99

Production: regular production

Release date: October 2022

Palio V-Cutter

The Palió brand is getting a new refreshed v-cutter that can handle cigars up to 64 rings. The composite body also features a bit of texture for better grip and control, and it’s contoured so the cigar cutter can double as a cigar rest. It can also be customized through Quality Importers Swag Bunker.

MSRP: $24.99

Production: regular production

Release date: October 2022

Stinky Mini Me Ashtray

The Stinky line of ashtrays gets a smaller version with three yokes and measures 5 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches in height. The Stinky Mini Me is all metal and available in seven colors: polished stainless steel, copper, black nickel, matte black, matte brown, red and matte blue.

MSRP: $34.99-35.99

Production: regular production

Release date: August 2022

Punch XIKAR 10mm

This new punch features a center punch that allows the user to more accurately center the cigar cutter on the cigar cap before moving forward with the actual cut of the stainless steel blade. It also offers two depths of cut, as the twist of the punch from closed to open comes with a pair of stops. The punch comes with a keychain and is available in four colors: bronze, gunmetal, gold and silver. If this looks like another product you’ve seen at the show, you’re not crazy – the two companies have a relationship and share the design.

MSRP: $64.99

Production: regular production

Release date: July 2022

XIKAR Xi80

If your cigars have outgrown your current XIKAR cigar cutter, here is a potential replacement. This cutter uses the company’s Xi silhouette and can handle cigars up to 80 rings. It is made of a lightweight ABS plastic body, while the double guillotine blades are made of stainless steel. The Xi80 is currently available in black, and the company has noted that this is an excellent custom part through the Swag Bunker, Quality Importers’ in-house customization studio.

MSRP: $49.99

Production: regular production

Release date: November 2022

XIKAR Revolution

It’s one of the most eye-catching new items on the stand and for good reason. XIKAR is known for its cigar cutters – the Xi1 is an icon in the cigar accessory game – and this new design pays homage to it while adding a unique twist to cutting a cigar.

As you will see in the video, the blades are spring loaded and then use a rotary action to cut cigars up to 70 ring gauge, which the company calls an assisted cutting action. After using it a few times, the motion is certainly new and different from almost any cutter I’ve ever used, and I’m intrigued to see how long it would take me to be able to get to a point where I can consistently get the type of cut I want with this cutter. It is currently available in just three colors: black with stainless steel blades and silver with black stainless steel blades and a limited edition 22k rose gold option that includes black stainless steel baldes.

It is individually numbered at 250 pieces and priced at $249.99.

MSRP: $159.99/$249.99

Production: Regular production/250 strawberries (rose gold)

Release date: July 2022

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – each cigar you light is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggles and stories. For me it’s more than the cigar – it’s the story behind it, the experience of appreciating the work of artisans and how a great cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with the half wheel, I am the PA announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as the Arizona Fall League Salt River Rafters , the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I’m a voice-over artist. Previously, I covered the Phoenix and National cigar scene for Examiner.com, and served as an editor for cigar snob magazine.

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