Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Today, we had the chance to catch up with one of the foundling members of Hidden Gem Cigars Seth Chea. Seth along with Andres Contreras, Ernesto Martinez, and Jeff Frank were the gentleman that started this amazing brand. This company does have something special about it. Besides their unique blend in their first release they pride themselves on the fans and the people who appreciate their product. Below you will have the chance to learn a little bit more about Seth and Hidden Gem Cigars.
Name: Seth Chea
Current Location: Massachusetts
Title: Founding Member
Mr. Chea has been around the block a few times when it comes to the world of cigars. With his newly released and highly popular Hidden Gem Cigars brand he has not forgotten some of the brands he loved before he launched. With so many great cigars out there the Cohiba Siglo VI weighs in heavily on his mind. He did admit that the mood and occasion also play a huge factor when speaking about which cigar he likes. Every cigar enthusiast is a creature of habit with their cigars and method of cutting and smoking. Seth prefers the straight cut when preparing to enjoy a stick, but the Cuban cut is also at the top of his list when a cutter is not available. I myself am a huge fan of pairing cigar with a beverage so it was natural for me to ask. Mr. Chea loves to pair his cigars with black iced coffee, ice water, or Peligrino sparkling water. I also highly enjoy black iced coffee with my cigars.
Now we got down to the facts revolving around Hidden Gem Cigars. Seth told us that Hidden Gem Cigars was an idea idea between 4 people. Andres Contreras, Ernesto Martinez, Jeff Frank and himself are responsible for what you see today. The four originally started as a boxsplit group. They thought it would be cool to build a community with cigars that everyone would be proud of. The idea was planted and the stage was set. Hidden Gem Cigars are currently rolled in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. They work with a private label company to bring you unique cigars.
Hidden Gem Cigars are a monthly release which falls into place with the gemstone of that month. This is a very cool idea in my mind. Seth said that the credit for this goes to Ernesto Martinez. (@ernie15mar) Each release is limited to 100 cigars and then they are done never to be released again. They decided on the number 100 because of manageability. Along with the cigars they are trying to do fun stuff with the community. Giveaways, boxsplits, cigar bombs, box pass, and Secret Santa already have plans int he works. 100 is easy to manage while still interacting with everyone.
The blend for the current cigar Ruby is undisclosed. While you do not want to spill out any of your secrets I was wondering if the blend would be made public somewhere down the road. The August Peridot release we will be using a beautiful oily Brazilian wrapper with a Dominican binder and Nicaraguan filler. My personal opinion is to lock up the details of the Ruby release and throw away the key, but that is just me. The inspiration to create that blend was simple. Ruby is a combination between the 4 founders of Hidden Gem Cigars. They each picked one note that they enjoyed in a cigar and incorporate it. Earth, cocoa, sweet tobacco, and mild black pepper. I also heard there was a "cool" story behind the band of the Ruby cigar. Seth was kind enough to share it with us. He said, "LOL!! Ruby will be our most rare release as we can no longer use the band. Another cigar company reached out to us and told us that we are infringing on their trademark. Our focus is more on building a community rather than a brand so we gladly changed the band."
One thing that I have seen that Hidden Gem Cigars is big on is community interaction. Even with the releases being so limited they still pull aside some for the purpose of give-a-ways. I was confused at first since each is so limited. Seth and the other foundling members believe that give-a-ways are a fun way to give back to the community. It brings everyone together. Sales are cool, but was never the main goal. As a matter of fact all it takes is some basic math to see that we really aren't profiting from this. #brothersbeforebusiness
With all the fun things that they have going on Seth did leak a little bit of extra information. I did not get all the details, but I do know this. There will be 2 surprise releases outside of the monthly limited releases. I would guess that they would be even more limited, but we will have to wait to see. I do know that all the proceeds will be donated to charity. He also assured us that the August Peridot release will be available on August 1, 2020 with a give-a-way taking place a week before the official release. My advice....keep your eyes peeled. The Ruby sold out extremely fast and I would bet that Peridot will do the same.
I did want to know if there was a Hidden Gem Cigars club in the future of the brand. They have so many people on board right now. Seth said, "The goal from the beginning was to have community/club. We made 100 challenge coins to give-a-way like a welcome to the Hidden Gem Cigars community token." There will be 100 lucky faithfuls that will get one of these challenge coins. If your a fan of the brand this is huge. If you are a collector like myself it is astronomical. Besides the challenge coins they will also be making t-shirts and hats, but that is in the future. As of now all of these items will be given away as prizes.
Seth was a pleasure to speak to. It didn't have an interview feel to it. It was more like old friends having a conversation. I will definitely be keeping a close eye on Hidden Gem Cigars and I suggest you do the same. What they stand for and their contribution to the cigar community should make you a fan without ever trying a single cigar. We will keep up with Seth and the crew and bring you updates as they become available. Don't forget to give them a follow on Instagram @hiddengemcigars