My Best Friend’s Exorcism

What a damn pleasure of a book! My Best Friend’s Exorcism, a Novel by Grady Hendrix, is an outrageously unabashed ode to big hair, teenage angst, and some good old-fashioned demonic possession. A Punky Brewster meets Exorcist if you will. Maybe that’s not quite right. Perhaps it’s more Saved by the Bell meets Carrie?


Maybe both of those are accurate. You get the point.

Moving on.

This book is a creepy-as-hell, supernatural horror tale, yet at its heart, it’s simply a story about friendship that tugs on the heartstrings.

Things sure do go sideways for two best gal pals Abby, and Gretchen, when these two, along with some other friends, take LSD and venture off into the woods. One thing leads to another, and Gretchen fucks around and gets possessed. Let that be a lesson to all you acid heads out there.

Throughout the book, Abby has to deal with devilishly mean High School girls, jocks, cliques, and all while trying to save her best friend’s soul.

Abby tries to seek adult help in her dilemma but is continually dismissed by her elders. She eventually finds a hero in Brother Lemon, a member of a Christian boy band, the Lemon Brothers Faith and Fitness Show, who agrees to help her. I won’t spoil any more of the story here, so you will just have to read it yourself.

But, the common themes and tropes of a demonic possession tale are all accounted for and present in this book, but I still think the author delivers something unique to the story. I loved that each chapter was named after a song from the 80s, songs like “Don’t You Forget About Me,” “We Got the Beat,” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

If you were born in the late ’70s or early ’80s, you are indeed the author’s ideal target market.

You are going to laugh. You will squirm and cringe. You will take a stroll down memory lane. You will obey Satan, you will destroy your friends, all Hail Satan…. wait..what? What just happened?

Anyways, you will enjoy this book. Go read it right now.

Also, don’t do drugs. Or do, I don’t really care, you are an adult, but your chances of demonic possession go up. You have been warned.

What Is The Mint City Collective?

Charlotte landing an MLS team has indeed been a dream come true, something I never imagined would happen.

With most cities receiving a team, supporter groups are conceived and developed along the way. Even without an official name and branding, Charlotte has been no different. Several groups have already been established, and I’m certain there will be more to follow once the name and branding are announced.

Now, I must admit. I had no sincere interest in joining a supporter’s group. I was merely thrilled to have a team, and honestly, I have always liked to do my own thing at games, experiencing matches the way I want. I’ve never been a flag-flying, drum-beating, chanting sort of fan. I prefer to study and analyze the game, talk to myself like a lunatic, drink my beers in peace, and tell the friend next to me how I could do a better job of coaching. I don’t particularly prefer to watch games behind the goal (that’s typically where supporter groups stand) plus, I’m a shockingly awful singer, and my 41-year-old knees can’t take jumping up and down for 90 minutes. Needless to say, that while the concept of having supporter groups for the team is exciting, I didn’t believe it was for me.

However, last summer, when Arsenal and Fiorentina came to town to play, and Charlotte hosted a Fan Fest in Rearden Park; one group started to pique my interest. It was some folks running around calling themselves the Mint City Collective.

I quite liked the name Mint City Collective, and I loved their color choice and the logo. I also began seeing the Mint City Collective name pop up on my social media feeds. They seemed surprisingly well organized and appeared to have a lot of interesting things going on. As I looked further into what they were all about, I was impressed with what they had created and the thought behind it all.

I have since become a member.

Being in a supporter’s group is not all about singing and raising hell at games; I mean, it’s some of that, sure. But, it’s mostly about fellowship, camaraderie, and celebrating a shared passion. I see this group as something positive, which can be utilized to support our team, promote Charlotte, and help the community.

This group is where if you like soccer, you are welcome with open arms, regardless of your background, regardless of your soccer IQ.

I’m really excited to be a part of this and if you are thinking about joining a supporter’s group, we would love to have you!

 

So, What Is The Mint City Collective?

Where did the name, color, and logo come from?

 

Mint City: Inspired by our history as the site of the first gold rush and the first U.S. Mint in the south. “Mint City” is a nod to the pioneering spirit and economic industries forged in the city.

Collective: All together for one common goal. Charlotte has attracted people from all over the world to live, play and work in our city. While we come from unique backgrounds, we share a mutual passion for the game of soccer.

Logo/Crest: Protect the nest- The shield and eagle design is inspired by the “C” coin, which was produced at the Charlotte branch of the U.S. mint. The interwoven pattern reflects the rich history of the textile industry in our area while alluding to the integrated and connected community that strengthens Mint City Collective.

“The Mint City Collective believes in the passion for soccer in Charlotte and its ability to forge a strong cultural bond in our community. We look to build, connect, collaborate, and inspire our community. “

 

What You Get When You Join?

As a Day Zero member, you will be one of the first to support the Mint City Collective. Your initial Day Zero membership will be good until January of the first year the team plays.

Once you become a member, you get invited to the Mint City Collective Slack Channel, which is an excellent way to chat with like-minded folks who want to talk about all things soccer from the English Premier League to the Bundesliga to the U.S. National Team. If you are a big fan of the FIFA games, there is even a league within the group that you can join (someone is always wanting to play).

If you would like to join up- follow the link below:

https://mintcitycollective.com/collections/memberships

There are currently two Membership packages

  • Silver Membership Package: $30.00
    • Every silver member will receive a Day Zero membership shirt and sticker to proudly display that they were part of the community movement that helped bring the MLS to Charlotte. This exclusive ‘Day Zero’ swag will only be available for a limited time – once the team is here, Day Zero becomes Day One.
    • Your membership lasts from the day you sign up until an MLS team arrives in Charlotte.
    • Access to Mint City Collective exclusive events, including tailgates, gatherings, and much more!
    • A numbered membership card showing just how early you supported bringing MLS home
  • Gold Membership Package – $200-  ONLY 150 Available!
    • Every gold member will receive a Day Zero membership shirt and sticker to proudly display that they were part of the community movement that helped bring the MLS to Charlotte – plus a ton of other mint gear, including the EXCLUSIVE ‘Day Zero’ kit! This, and the rest of the exclusive ‘Day Zero’ swag, will only be available for a limited time – once the team is here, Day Zero becomes Day One
    • Your membership lasts from the day you sign up until an MLS team arrives in Charlotte.
    • Access to Mint City Collective exclusive events, including tailgates, gatherings, and much more!
    • A numbered membership card showing just how early you supported bringing MLS home

Local Chapters

Want to get together in your part of town to watch a game? Join a rec league? Run a race? Just get a beer?  The Mint City Collective also has local chapters that you can join!

Below is a list of current chapters. If you are interested in starting your own or helping a friend start one, let us know in the MCC Members Slack and we’ll get you all the guidelines, suggestions, and help that we can.

Here is a list of current chapters: https://mintcitycollective.com/pages/chapters

 

Podcasts

There are also currently two MCC Podcasts that you can listen to if you would like to get caught up on things and learn a little more about the group.

 

Blog

We also have a great Blog page, written by various members on numerous topics pertaining to the team. Do you have a passion for writing? We are always looking for fresh ideas and new perspectives!

https://mintcitycollective.com/blogs/news

Sweet Merchandise

If you get a chance, check out the merchandise page. This gets updated often, and once you are a member, you can request items that you would like on the Slack Channel.

Merchandise

Get Social

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

Joining the Mint City Collective won’t make you more of a fan; it doesn’t make you better than anyone else. It’s a group formed by people like yourself that are just super excited about our new franchise.

There are also other supporter groups you can join, so I would take a look around and see which one you think best suits you.

If you want to be a part of the Mint City Collective, come join in. I’ll be there. Or don’t join. That’s perfectly fine too! We can still be friends.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Cheers!

 

Make Your Own Luck

Luck is such an odd concept. We all think we know what it is but all have very different interpretations of what it actually means. Is luck circumstantial or is it constitutional? Is luck something truly out of our control or something we can manipulate? No matter your beliefs we tend to put ourselves into one of two camps … we either consider ourselves lucky or unlucky.

I used to be in the “unlucky” camp. My life was a shit-storm of nonsense, and every time I turned around I was whacked in the face with some unfortunate turn of event that kept my life spiraling out of control. I remember being so resentful about it and utterly dumbstruck by just how unlucky I always seemed to be. Crap was constantly happening to me, and I could not, for the life of me, figure out why.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was, of course, all my fault. I kept feeding the beast by unknowingly focusing on the bad things. Hell, even when something good did happen to me, I would think to myself; “it’s about damn time!” or think, “well … I’m sure something bad will happen now.”

My shit-show of existence got to a point that one day I simply sat down with a notepad and attempted to fix it all. I began by listing out all the bad things that had happened to me, which was super easy to do. But when I started listing out the good, I had to force myself, truly force myself to do so. This is when I had a moment of clarity. This is where I figured out that my luck … or that me being unlucky … was just my mindset. Why was it so easy to list out the bad things and so difficult to write out the good things? I found that it was my mentality. It was my behavior. It was what I focused on. Being unlucky had become my paradigm … my way of life.

As I was doing this quasi life audit, I realized that when I was “unlucky” I had actually put myself in those positions. When good things had happened to me, I had also put myself in those positions.

I became fascinated by the concept of luck and started to read up on the subject. This is where I found that everyone had a different opinion on the matter, and again, it reinforced my notion that it really is up to you for what you want it to be. You can bend it to your will.  While I was reading a few articles, I stumbled upon this quote that struck me like a bolt of lightning:

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

Indeed.  I decided that I would have to work on building my own luck and that over timeI could swing the paradigm from being unlucky to lucky.

I’ve always liked to be in control of things, which is why I suppose I don’t put much stock in astrology, tarot card readers, psychics, evangelicals, or drunken train hobos. I’ve never liked to rely on other people or the stars to tell me of my destiny. 

 

Over time, I’ve learned that you can turn your luck around and dig yourself out of a hole … that you can truly turn from being unlucky to lucky. I know this because I have done it. And I did it by embracing this mantra: “Make Your Own Luck.” That’s why when I saw this banner from Pointer and Pine I had to have it. I’ve also taken that Thomas Jefferson’s quote to heart.  When you work hard and put yourself in good positions, good things will happen to you.

I have seen a massive difference in my life since embracing this mindset and could kick my own ass for being such a little bitch about “luck” in the past.

I will say, that since this discovery, I no longer have time for people that claim to be unlucky, or for individuals that get pissy at someone else’s good fortune. These are the people that complain constantly about everything under the sun, and not surprisingly, they don’t have a lot going for them. These are also the same people that when you try to help them, they don’t want to hear it. No, they would rather wallow in self-pity. I think these people bother me so much because I was once like them and I don’t want to ever go back to it.

I roll my eyes when someone mentions Mercury being in retrograde (whatever the hell that means) and that the stars are somehow responsible for things being bad or chaotic. I just don’t buy it. Sure, things are going to come off the rails.  Sure,  bad things are going to happen to you. Sure, there will be circumstances that seem unlucky, but when things are not going well, and when bad things are happening,  you fix them. You have put yourself in a different position. You can’t wait for someone to do it for you, and you sure as shit shouldn’t wait until the stars and planets are aligned “correctly.”  You have to take action and get yourself adjusted and in position, for fortuitous things to happen to you.

You make your own luck. Period.

Uncle Pep’s

 

Uncle Pep’s

I am always fascinated by how small businesses are created. I’m intrigued by the process, the strategy and thought behind it,  the branding.  I’m especially intrigued when I see a dear friend of mine going through that process.

Starting a  business is never easy.  It comes with hurdles and unforeseen pitfalls that can quickly stifle a dream. It takes special willpower and nerves of steel to go after your passion. I’ve watched my friend go after his passion vigorously and have been really impressed by the way he has been steadfast throughout this whole process. I’ve seen him deal with issues that I would have never dreamt of while going through this whole ordeal. He never gave up on getting this thing launched and I couldn’t be prouder of him. That is why I wanted to share with you a little bit about his journey,  and through some Q&A below, allow you to get to know Uncle Pep’s and how it all came to be.

What Is Uncle Pep’s?

Uncle Pep’s is a premium cocktail mix company, offering up two styles of Bloody Mary Mix (“The O.G.”  and “Spicy”) and also a Brunch Punch for all of you mimosa lovers.

I’ve tried both Bloody Mary mixes. What I like about this mix is it doesn’t taste processed, it tastes like I was at a 5-Star restaurant getting a fresh squeezed mix from a mixologist. My preference is the Spicy option. The hint of pepper that just slightly stings the nostrils and gives you that kick in the ass that you need from a Bloody Mary to get your morning back on track is exactly what this mix delivers.

The Brunch Punch, well … I can drink the whole jar in a day with or without liquor, it’s that refreshing. It’s not your typical mimosa it’s a bit less sweet and more full on citrus. Again, that fresh squeezed homemade feeling.


But I want you to know a little more about Uncle Pep’s.

I got the opportunity to ask my friend some questions that I thought all you guys would want to know.

I hope you enjoy!

Q & A


Q: What made you want to start Uncle Pep’s? Why cocktail mix?

A: Life is full of surprises! I’ve always had a strong passion for Bloody Mary’s. I’m the guy that either makes all the Bloody Mary’s at a party or takes an hour to build-my-own Bloody Mary bar. I’m fascinated by the garnishes. The problem though, are the mixes. The store mixes offer either a watered-down mess or a salt bomb! Nothing is FRESH! I wanted to give other Bloody Mary fanatics a new option. A Bloody Mary mix that was fresh-pressed with hand-picked ingredients and a natural flavor. No tomato pastes or outrageous sodium levels. Fresh ingredients only! I know the canning process so I said why not! I literally bought a juicer and started experimenting with fresh vegetables and spices until I found the right blends. And for those that aren’t Bloody Mary fans, we also created a “Brunch Punch” which is our play on the famous mimosa cocktail. Again, we hand-pick our fruit and fresh-press our ingredients into every jar. My “test” market was friends and family for about a year. I wanted honest feedback and I ended up with repeat texts and calls asking for more! I believed I had something here so I took the next steps to turn this idea into a business. 

Q: Who in the hell is Uncle Pep?

A: So Uncle Pep was my grandma’s brother. His name was Peter but my grandma called him “Peppy” as a kid. That was shortened to “Pep” as he grew up. Uncle Pep was a bad ass! He was a WWII vet and a merchant marine on the American cargo ship “Robin Moor” which would become the first U.S. merchant ship to be sunk by a German submarine – six months before the United States entered WWII. Uncle Pep took a secret photo of the U-boat that was one of the most sensational of WWII and caught worldwide headlines. He snapped the picture from a lifeboat in the open sea, minutes after the submarine had torpedoed the ship. The original photo is in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., along with a letter of appreciation from then-Secretary of State Cordell Hull. I was fortunate to hear all about his life on the sea but I also was able to learn a ton from him. His passions included canning everything! He made his own dandelion wine (similar to white wine), peppers and all types of canned vegetable and fruit juices. He was a master at it! It really is a childhood memory of mine that led to what is now also my passion.

Q: How difficult was it to launch your brand?

A: I have so much respect for small business owners after going through this process myself. It requires a lot of dedication and determination to turn an idea into a business. I had no clue what I would have to go through in order to get this off the ground. There were many times that I felt overwhelmed and wanted to throw in the towel rather than continue to fight. The passion I have for this however helped me push through the difficult times. I’ve learned a ton and I know I will have to continue to grind, but it will be worth it at the end of day. I tell people this all the time: If it was easy to do, everyone would be doing it. 

Q: Was there anything during this process that surprised you or you didn’t anticipate?

A: I knew at some point that if I wanted to sell my mixes then I had to make sure they would be safe to consume. I did not know how intense that process would be. If you are considering doing any type of food or beverage related business, be sure to study up! I had to take (3) certification courses, several training courses and pay for multiple shelf life testing from food laboratories. My six month plan of “idea to product” was way off! That was the biggest and most expensive obstacle that I have had to face so far. Also, at some point I knew the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had to get involved. Imagine having your business investment in total control of someone else. That’s how I felt when the FDA inspected my commercial kitchen space to watch me, from start to finish, make my mixes. It was such an intense moment for me. The inspector said nothing the whole time and just wrote notes on a pad of paper. Thankfully I passed. What a relief! 

Q: What have you learned from this experience

A: I am still learning, but the most important thing I have learned so far is to not quit! You are going to encounter bumpy roads and you’ll need to stay the course. There is A LOT of red tape. Don’t let it scare you. That’s what I’ve done up to this point. I’m a business owner which sounds so weird to say, but also pretty damn gratifying. I haven’t studied this much since college. Although it’s a different type of studying because a fail can lead to such a setback that your business may not recover. My advice? If you have a passion, go for it! Life is too short to hide in the rat race. 

Q: What are the next steps for Uncle Pep’s?

A: So we are still an early stage startup company. I will admit that the next obstacle of ours is to get our brand out to the masses. Currently we are only available through our online store however we are hoping to reserve space at local farmers markets in Charlotte, NC, this summer. We hope to share more through social media and our website after the COVID-19 madness settles. Be sure to follow and like us on both Facebook and Instagram! 

 

The Famous Uncle Pep

Right now, they are currently offering BOGO 1/2 OFF on their website- no coupon needed-discount is applied at checkout: https://unclepepsmix.com.

They are delivering anywhere in the U.S. and let’s face it, everyone could use a cocktail while we are all cooped up at home!

Uncle Pep's

Thank you so much for reading, everyone.  Be sure to follow Uncle Pep’s journey through their Social Media channels:

https://www.facebook.com/unclepepsmix

https://www.instagram.com/unclepepsmix/

Husk: Charleston, SC

 

“If it ain’t Southern, it ain’t coming in the door,” – Sean Brock

 

Brunch, lunch or dinner, Husk delivers every time. Make a reservation and get in there anyway you can, you won’t regret it.


My expectations of going into Husk was one of excitement, but I was more than a little apprehensive about how good the food would actually be. The novelty of Husk has surely faded, the limelight and praise from magazines and Sean Brock (the owner) being on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown is a thing of the past.

There are also four locations now. Four locations? Doesn’t that make it a chain restaurant? Won’t that dilute everything?

Going in I thought sure, this will be fun but not mind-blowing. It would be yet another solid Southern restaurant.  Sometimes, it’s hard to live up to the hype. Sometimes you’re just not sure what all the fuss is about … why so many people are talking about it. If you are like me, you can build something up in your head that can never live up to reality.

I really wanted to like Husk, but as I sat down and waited for my food to arrive I was waiting to be disappointed.

I never was …


Walking up to Husk you see a two-story white home that looks  something like a colonel era hotel. You can imagine Rhett Butler drinking a mint julep and smoking a cigar on the second story balcony .  As you walk through the black iron gates, a towering magnolia canopy looms overhead. Making your way to the doorstep you pass a small garden and fountain brimming with flowers. You are quickly transported to another era. It’s quintessential Charleston in every sense of the word.

The inside of the house is open and welcoming, with beautiful pine flooring, fireplaces, and multiple rooms for people to dine. It’s rustic, yet charming.

The chalkboard at the bottom of the staircase lets you know who the good folks are that are responsible for what will soon be on your plate. Local farmers and fishermen (add more here)

On the surface, Husk is everything southern … an establishment with a passion and zeal for selling the romantic south, hard.

Servers are dressed in denim shirts with full-length grey aprons.  I can’t speak for dinner, but during our brunch, the atmosphere was calm and pleasing.

We were seated upstairs but inside as it was cold on the day we went.  However, when the weather is nice and warm there is a patio balcony where couples can dine outside.


Time To Eat

The great thing about Husk is that their menu is always changing so you can have a different experience each time you go. The changes with what the region’s producers provide daily, but there are some rules about what can go on the plate. If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.

Personal Touch

Our weekend in Charleston was a celebration of Valentine’s Day and my birthday. And if you know me, I like to make a big deal out of it every year. My wife has kindly obliged me on this over the years, and with every activity and restaurant planned she strived to make it especially, special. When she made the reservation, she let Husk know it was for my birthday, and they took it to the next level. We live in a society that loves customization, and it no more present than in the South where anything that can be monogrammed, is monogrammed. Another perfectly Southern touch that didn’t go unnoticed was this happy birthday at the top of the menu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloody Mary to Start

Bacon and bloody mary’s are a dime a dozen, but have you tried prosciutto? Down home Southern and elegance is felt throughout the establishment and the theme continued with the food. The salty brine of the prosciutto married with the picked jalapeño and fresh tomato mix made this for a smooth intro to the meal after a night of sipping wine with my wife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herbed Cheddar Cat Head Biscuits, Smoked Black Pepper Bacon Gravy, Pepper Mash

The true testament of another Southern restaurant is biscuits and gravy. You can’t survive without a solid ode to this classic brunch dish. The ultimate test of good biscuits and gravy – the need for a nap shortly there after. It was a long 3 hour drive home to Charlotte. Fresh-made biscuits were doused in a well-balanced gravy that had the perfect amount of heat. Another sign of great gravy, you find yourself embarrassingly scrapping the bowl for every last drop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joyce Farm’s Pork Spareribs, Sweet Baby Dave’s Brown Sugar BBQ, Heirloom Field Peas, Fried Egg

Fall off the bone, finger licking good is the sign of a good sparerib, but this was an exceptional spare rib. Admittedly, I wanted more. The sauce tasted like a sweet crime, I wanted to commit over and over again. The field peas with their earthy and unassuming presence brought me back, making a true balance of the dish. I am licking my lips as I write this, as I could go another round here and now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork Rind “Churros,” Spiced Chocolate Sauce

I am a born and raised Southern man, and wasn’t raised on the finer side of the street so cheap and delicious pork rinds were a staple of life – any road trip, you could bet a stop at the gas station for a bag was in tow. So here I am, thinking how can you make pork rinds fancy? Well, shit you add some Mexican chocolate and it was a whole other world for me. First, these pork rinds were so fresh out of the frier that they were cracklin with every bite. My wife and I kept giggling as we crunched down on each one. This was truly a match made in heaven, I never knew could exist. That’s the very magic that Chef Brock brings to the table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood-fired funnel cake! Served with preserved FL strawberries, Celeste’s ricotta, black walnut, & basil

My wife, who’s a bona fide foodie and spent 8 years of her life rubbing elbows with top chefs in a former career, including Sean Brock, exclaimed “It tastes like a breezy summer morning. The dish is innocent, like a young child smelling fresh strawberries in the field for the first time. The basil brings the sophistication and ricotta the balance.” Now let me tell you, my wife rarely selects sweet dishes over savory, but the pull from this one was much too tempting and she happily caved in.

 

 

 

 

 


Verdict

It’s hard to live up to the hype. It’s easy to coast on trendy sentiment and romantic Southern culture, but Husk was everything I thought it would be and more. From the creative menu, to the ambiance to the food itself, it blew me away and we can’t wait to go back.

Southern Scholar Socks

I used to think socks were boring, the item people give their Dad or husband when they don’t have a creative bone in their body or just lazy. The ultimate meh gift.

I used to believe that it didn’t matter what socks you wore and I personally hated getting socks as a gift.  There was a time where I didn’t care about such smalls details of what I was wearing. Who cares, right?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I should have cared. I’ve come to realize that life is all about the details, the small things.

Don’t worry, this is not a metaphorical article about how socks represent some grander purpose in the universe. No, this article is simply about giving a damn about the type of socks you wear because you need to dress right and act like somebody. This article is about a company that I have found that makes great socks, and you don’t even have to leave your house to get them.

Southern Scholar

How it Works

Sign-Up for a Subscription and each month you will get a brand new pair of socks delivered right to your doorstep. These are not over the top, cheesy, nonsense socks that a 10-year-old would wear. No, these are classy, stylish socks that you can rock every day.

What Are The Socks Made Of?

The Signature Material Blend contains the highest quality Polyester, Viscose, and Nylon/Spandex. It is unlike anything you’ve ever felt before and provides unparalleled comfort, fit, and durability. This specific blend of materials also allows the socks to hold its color and deters from any fading after washing/wearing.

What You Get with Your Subscription

  • 1 pair of dress socks each month
  • Tailored with their one-of -a-kind signature material blend
  • Crafted utilizing 200 needle count knitting for superior quality
  • Engineered for a better fit & to stay up all day

 

Complimentary Style Card

  • Head to-toe style guide included with each pair
  • Detailed pairing recommendations from their stylists
  • Business casual & business professional outfit suggestions

 

How Much Does It Cost?

Your Southern Scholar Membership provides you with 1 pair dress socks plus a style tip card, every month, for just $15 a month. This includes free shipping, returns, and exchanges.

Want to save some money? Subscribe to a 6 or 12 Month Prepaid Subscription and save up to $15 – that means 1 pair is free!

Want even more savings? Use our code:  SOUTHERN20 at checkout to get 20% off

Sock drawer getting a bit full? That’s what happens when you get incredibly durable socks delivered every month. Feel free to skip a month or cancel your account at any time!

 

THEIR SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

If you are ever dissatisfied with the quality, fit, comfort, color, pattern, style, stitching, feel, look, durability, lifetime or any other aspect of our socks, they will give you a refund.

I’ve been extremely happy with my Southern Scholar socks. Because they are never gaudy or outlandish I can wear them every day in a business environment. I don’t have to constantly pull and tug at them as they are designed to stay up and keep their shape.  They are comfortable enough where I’m not hating my life at the end of the day and dying to take them off. 

These are perfect for Fathers Day or Christmas gifts, or just a great gift in general.

Don’t think people don’t take notice of your socks, they do, so dont look like an asshole. Dress right, and be somebody.

Monthly Delight: Coffee & Cigars Delivered to Your Doorstep

 

 

New to smoking cigars? Looking for new and unique options, but just not sure what to buy? Perhaps, you are like me and loathe going out to the store just to have some jackass sales clerk … lurking around in the humidor …  recommending things that only seem to be overpriced and from “big brands.” To help alleviate all that, let me introduce you to one of my go-to’s …  Ezra Zion Cigars monthly Cigar & Coffee subscription.

Ezra Zion

 

The value of their subscription is incredible and the beautiful thing about it all, it’s delivered to your door step. You get a different selection each month, so you can truly grow your humidor with unique sticks. The monthly subscription provides 5-6 cigars (which always features a new Ezra Club exclusive cigar) and on top of that, you also get a new 12oz bag of Ezra Zion coffee!

Right now, the subscription costs just $49.95. Think about this,  if you go to a cigar shop, one cigar alone is going to cost you $10-$15 or more (depending on what you get). You would pay at least $50 just for the cigars. Then, there’s the coffee … which in the stores can costs you from $9-$15 (again depending on what you get). So again, the value is amazing.

To give you an idea of what you can expect, here are some of the past months selections:

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So, as you can see from the photos … you are always getting something new … something fun.

September’s selection and December’s selections have been my personal favorites so far. December’s “Ugly Sweater” coffee is some of the best coffee I have every had. If they have it stock at the time you are reading this, I highly recommend you buy it.

Now, I’m a sucker for good marketing and love their fun bands and artwork on their their cigars, but don’t be fooled or think its all flash and gimmicky. Their cigars are quality, well-made and enjoyable.

 

The Coffee & Cigars From Ezra Zion

COFFEE: The new blends of coffee are just as complex, fun and rich as the small batch cigars that Ezra is famous for. Using the rarest beans that are in the top 1/10th of 1% in quality, and privately blending and roasting them to utter perfection! Each bag is 12oz.

CIGARS: Orders will vary from month to month and member to member depending on availability. Cigars included will be from past limited releases and core lines.

Ezra Zion is based in Texas, and produce some of the best and unique cigars I have ever had.  You can opt-in to their email to get updates on new releases (just FYI – their selections go fast, and can be on backorder, so you will need to pull the trigger on what you want quickly.)

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I have been really impressed with Ezra Zion and anticipate getting my package in the mail each month. If you are are truly wanting to grow your selection and try cigars that you typically won’t see in stores, I highly recommend signing up for this subscription.

Of course you can get other items onto of the monthly subscription. You can always peruse their entire stock here: https://www.ezrazionstore.com.

Be sure to give them a follow on Instagram (which is a great way to keep up with their products)  @ezrazioncigars    https://www.instagram.com/ezrazioncigars/

Invisible Counselors

I’ve always been a big fan and follower of The Art of Manliness. Back in 2012, they posted an article called “The Cabinet of Invisible Counselors.” The premise of the article is to create a sort of imaginary team of mentors you can consult with for advice and inspiration throughout one’s life. After reading the article I decided to create my own, and it has really been highly beneficial. (See mine below)

If this sounds a little absurd or even silly, just think about it like this;  the idea around it is to study and emulate great minds of the past and present … as these mentors can be either alive or dead.

Since creating my cabinet of counselors, I have constantly turned to them when I’m unsure of something, when I need inspiration, or need a sort of life reset (something I discuss in my article called Weekend Morning Routine).

Your cabinet can help you steady yourself  when struggling with difficult decisions or going through troubling times.  You can simply ask yourself “What would ____ do?” in a certain situation that can keep you going in the right direction.

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Picking Your Counselors

1. Pick the members of your cabinet.

This is the fun part! You can choose as many people as you’d like to become part of your imaginary team of advisers. As I mentioned, they can be living or dead, real or even fictional … such as Sherlock Holmes. This is for you specifically, no one else, so choose who you really want.

The people on your cabinet don’t have to be perfect; remember, they are human beings too … flaws and all. You can actually take their flaws and use them to your advantage. For example, Hemingway is one of my advisers  and as much as I love his adventurous side and manly prowess, he had a reputation for being sexist and a bit of a womanizer – something that I don’t want to be. So, I use Hemingway for the things I admire, but take heed of his short comings, and remind myself to not be that way.

2. Learn as much about your invisible counselors as possible.

In order for your counselors to best advise you, you will need to study as much about their lives as you can.  Get your hands on as many biographies as you can and try to read all of their work.

I would recommend picking only 4  to 6 advisers … the men or women you admire the most , and really go in-depth with your research. Try to learn their strengths, their weaknesses, what made them successful, study their habits.

3. Consult with your counselors.

Each counselor will have their own unique skill-set, so depending on what is going on in your life, or the type of advice you need, you will want to have different advisers that can help you in various aspects.

Perhaps you will want to work your way through each adviser one month at a time, like I did to start. But the great part about this is, you can take this on however best suits you. Remember, this should be fun, never a chore, and keep in mind that you are utilizing them to help you.

For me, I also use a note pad to jot down quotes or tidbits of information that I can always use for quick reference.

My Invisible Counselors

1. Marcus Aurelius 

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The Emperor’s Handbook is the book I turn to the most. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and he was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the Five Good Emperors. He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his personal philosophical writings, which later came to be called Meditations, are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy.

In this book, Marcus continuously points out that man lives only for the present, as the past is gone and the future is uncertain. Man, therefore must not live in regrets or overly worry about the future or death.

When I’m angry, when I feel stressed, this is the book I open and read through. His words have a way of putting things in perspective … a way of saying; “Get your head out of your ass.”

2.  Teddy Roosevelt

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Teddy is a man’s man. I turn to him to raise my adventurous spirit. I look at the life he lived and it makes me get off the couch, to quit being lazy … it makes me ask the question; “what have you done today?”

Teddy lead the Rough Riders during the Spanish–American War. He was the Governor of New York, the Vice President under William McKinley and rose to President after McKinley’s assassination. He began construction of the Panama Canal,  won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize and founded the Bull Moose Party.

I read all of this and think; yeah … I need to to do some shit today!

Roosevelt was blind in one eye after a boxing injury in the White House.  He suffered a detached retina in a bout in 1908, and stopped fighting. He switched to jiu-jitsu instead.

Fun Fact: How Teddy Bears Started: While on a hunting trip as President, guides in Mississippi had arranged for Roosevelt to shoot an old bear they had tied to a tree. Roosevelt refused to do so, on sporting grounds. (Instead, he had someone else shoot the bear.) The first part of the incident became a newspaper cartoon, which then inspired a shopkeeper to sell stuffed bears, with Roosevelt’s permission.

3. Thomas Jefferson

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My favorite president, and someone that I also look to to get me motivated to live a full life. A true Renaissance man, TJ had a real thirst for knowledge, and understanding. Not sure if he was ever a master of any one thing … but he tried …  something I can relate to.

Thomas Jefferson really, really liked books. After his retirement, he sold his library of 6,500 volumes to the Library of Congress after it was ransacked by the British. Jefferson needed the cash to pay off debts, but he started buying more books. “I cannot live without books,” he told John Adams.

Jefferson the architect. He designed the rotunda for the University of Virginia, his own home at Monticello, and the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. Monticello has some good resources about what he called the “hobby of my old age,” though architecture actually a lifetime pursuit. Monticello and the University of Virginia are on the World Heritage List.

Jefferson the wine snob.  He had two vineyards at Monticello, which he apparently used to experiment with. Acknowledged as a great wine expert of early America, he sought to promote wine as an alternative to whiskey and cider.

Jefferson the agriculturalist. He believed in the United States as an agrarian society, in part, because it would make the nation independent from other nations. Jefferson practiced what he taught: He was one of the first American farmers to employ crop rotation and redesigned the plow to make it more efficient.

Jefferson the paleontologist. He was also obsessed with fossils and was involved in a great debate about the mammoth that became a political cause. Jefferson raised the profile of paleontology as president, and he has a mammoth named after him.

Jefferson the astronomer. Jefferson loved stargazing almost as much as he liked books. He made sure astronomy was taught at the University of Virginia, and he designed what may have been the first observatory in the United States.

Jefferson the writer. He was a prolific writer during his lifetime, with his authorship of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom included in his epitaph (instead of his two terms as president). The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress includes about 27,000 documents, including his extensive correspondence with key historical figures.

4. Hunter S. Thompson

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Hunter S. Thompson is my wild card, and probably my first choice for the one person (dead or alive) that I would invite to diner.

He held people accountable, took swine to task, highlighted the absurdity of the 60’s and despised Richard Nixon.

He’s best known for his book Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, but his novel The Rum Diary is the title I have read the most (and typically read once a year).

I own every book this man has written and every biography that has been put out about him. If you are not too familiar with Hunter and his work, go out and get The Great Shark Hunt and Hell’s Angles … but be prepared, you will never be the same again.

Fun Fact:

Bill Murray (who once played Hunter in the film Where the Buffalo Roam) called Johnny Depp (who was playing Hunter in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas at the time in 1998) and told him this:  “Make your next role drastically different from Hunter. Otherwise you’ll find yourself 10 years from now still doing him.”

Indeed … in my opinion, if you watch Fear & Loathing and then watch Pirates of the Caribbean … the mannerisms are VERY similar.

After Hunter’s passing, Depp was responsible for blasting Hunters ashes out of a cannon! You can watch it on Youtube.

Other attendees at this ceremony included John Kerry, Jack Nicholson, John Cusack, Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, Sean Penn, Josh Hartnett and Ralph Steadman.

For writing inspiration and to be inspired to live a little on the edge … Hunter is my guy.

“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is the ones who have gone over.”

 “If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.”

“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

5. Robert Kennedy

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I always preferred Bobby over John F. Kennedy. JFK was the face, but Bobby was the brains. RFK was a complex man, someone who changed his mind on how he viewed things throughout his life and career. He could be loving and at other times crude, and extremely demanding.

He quarreled with Jimmy Hoffa, ran most of JFK’s political campaigns, failed the 3rd grade, hated Lyndon Johnson and many historians credit Bobby for getting us through the Cuban Missile crisis (read 13 Days).

I like Bobby because he was so complex and the epitome of the phrase; work hard, play hard.

6. Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway, like Teddy Roosevelt, was a man’s man.

Aside from Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is my second most read book.

Hemingway made his first visit to Pamplona, Spain after hearing about it from his literary mentor, Gertrude Stein. The city and the spectacle of bullfighting made such an impression on him that he chose it as the setting for The Sun Also Rises. He attended the Pamplona fiesta a total of nine times and, in 1932, published a non-fiction guidebook about bullfighting called Death in the Afternoon which is also one of my favorite books.

Ernest also lead an eventful life. During WWI, an 18-year-old Hemingway volunteered as a canteen worker and an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross on the Austro-Italian Front. In June 1918, while giving out chocolate and cigarettes to the soldiers, he was wounded by an Austrian mortar shell. He was knocked unconscious and buried in the earth of the dugout. Shrapnel hit him in the right foot, knee, thighs, scalp, and hand. Despite these injuries, when he came to he picked up one of the wounded Italian soldiers and carried him to the first aid station. For his bravery, he was awarded an Italian medal of valor.

During WWII, Hemingway used his fishing boat, the Pilar, to hunt for German U-Boats that had entered Caribbean waters.

While vacationing in Africa, he survived two plane crashes in the span of two days. In one instance, his plane caught fire on the runway. With the plane door jammed closed, he used his head as a battering ram and butted it open.

Hemingways had many short-comings, but he was tough, a romantic and incredible writer… winning the 1954 for his work The Old Man and the Sea.

I hope you enjoyed my list on counselors and really hope you create your own. Love a comment below and let me know who you choose to be your advisors

Thanks for reading!

Weekend Morning Routine

 

What is Your Morning Routine?

 

There are lot of articles and books out there written around morning routines… what people eat, how they mediate, what kind of cryo-therapy they use, yadda, yadda. It all sounds well and good but I have to say…I don’t really have a morning routine throughout the week. Granted, I do the basic things that everyone else does … shower, brush your teeth etc., but I don’t meditate or journal or really do anything “special” during the week.

No, I reserve all of that for the weekend.

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My Weekend Morning Routine

I like to wait and do these types of special self-care actions either on Saturday or Sunday mornings because for me, doing this everyday can get a little overwhelming … even tedious, and I want the process that I talk about below to be fun … something I actually look forward to.

On either Saturday or Sunday morning (just depends on what I have going on), I get up early as if I was going to work (so around 6:30-7am). I either sit on the front porch (if it’s raining) or on the back porch and bring with me a journal, a cigar, a pen, a book to read and a cup of coffee.

I use this time to first reflect on the week before. I look at what I’ve accomplished, and what I’ve failed to do. I assess my work, my diet, and if I accomplish my to-do list. Now, I don’t beat myself up if didn’t knock off everything on my list, or if I had a really shitty week at work, ate poorly or missed a workout. I just use this time to self-correct, and to analyze why I got derailed. I write all of this out in my journal so I can see it plainly in black and white.

Granted, this may sound a little crazy or O.C.D., but I believe you have to hold yourself to high standards and always try to improve. I feel you always need to check yourself, and if you do this every week you can catch destructive habits and behaviors quickly. If I feel a murderous rage two weeks in a row because of bullshit at work, I know that I need to journal about this, and diagnose the real issue behind it. If I’ve gained 5 pounds in the past two weeks, I know I need to take my fat ass to the gym more the upcoming week. If I’m feeling lethargic, I can think about my diet, or maybe my sleep patterns the week before and correct it. The key is doing this each week so things don’t get away from you.

You will be surprised by some patterns that form, and how the same things may keep plaguing you (at least they do for me). We can all fall into bad habits and the longer they go, the harder they are to break … that’s why taking the time to analyze this each week, I feel, is very important.

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The Week Ahead

After I look at the week before, I map out the week ahead. I write out my goals, what I want to do, where I’d like to go, or if there is anything upcoming that I would like to attend. I use this time to think about things I haven’t done before that I would like to try (that could be food, places, events etc). Doing all of  this helps me from feeling stagnant.

People ask me all the time how Jillian and I are able to go do all these fun things we do and well … it’s because we plan it ahead of time … we talk about it … ya know … put some thought in to it.

Lounging at home is easy, and I’m the worst about coming home from work tired, and all I want to do is eat and then bend watch a Netflix show. Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely amazing sometimes, as it’s nice to just relax, but there is more to this life than the couch and a TV show.

On Saturday or Sunday, while I’m journaling, if I have gone all week without doing anything when I get home other than watching TV, it’s certainly a concern, but if I’ve done nothing but this the past two weeks, I know that I REALLY need to plan something to break that cycle. When I say “plan something”, this doesn’t mean you have to plan a trip overseas or go out and blow tons of cash on something ridiculous. No, it can be as simple as going out to the movies, trying a new restaurant, reading instead of watching TV, start a new hobby (or pick back-up one you have been neglecting). For me, doing these little thing has helped me fight being lethargic and even depression (especially in the winter months).

My Process

As I told you above, I first use my journal to write out my goals, to write down things I want to do and try.

Then, while I drink my coffee and smoke a cigar, I take that time to reflect on the week and think about the type of person I want to be going forward. I do a self assessment and just think. I  also ask myself questions like: Am I doing things that are bettering myself? Am I behaving the way I should be (i.e. … am I acting like a massive asshole-a lot of times the answer is yes!). For me, I have to manage myself … again, I know this may sound odd, but I know myself and I know that I have to be sure I’m doing the things I need to do in order to do well.

After I journal, smoke my cigar and drink my coffee I will then read a book by one of my Invisible Counselors. (Read my article around that if you want the full rundown) but basically I read about someone I admire, someone Id like to model myself after or someone that has attributes that I like or that inspires me. These include people like Richard Francis Burton, Marcus Aurelius, and Teddy Roosevelt. Reading about these people get my adventurous spirit revved up. It motivates me as I see what all these amazing people have accomplished (and here I’ve been watching Game of Thrones all week on the couch).

Again, I do all of this to check myself … to make sure I’m always striving to do more and to be better.

Sometimes this process will take an hour, sometimes two, sometimes longer. If I can, I try not to put a time limit on it. The key is to wake up early to give myself plenty of time to go through this process and still have the whole day ahead of me. I don’t sleep in til noon … hell I don’t even know what that is like anymore.  If I can give any advice to younger people, it would be is to STOP waking up at 11, 12 or 1. It such a waste of a day.

Id love to hear about your morning routines and what you do, so leave a comment below! What I do may sound ridiculous, and may not work for anyone else, but it has sure helped me. Thanks for reading!

Dress Right & Act Like Somebody

Southern Tab

 

“If you can’t send money, send tobacco.” – (to the Continental Congress, 1776)

– George Washington

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Southern tobacco has a rich and proud history … a once and mighty cash crop our founding fathers revered, appreciated and enjoyed.

Southern Tab, a cigar company based in Georgia is trying to revitalize this, all the while bucking the cigar industry, doing things their own way … the old Southern way.

When you think of cigars, you probably think of Cuba, Nicaragua, or Honduras. These  areas do produce amazing tobacco.  However, Southern Tab is aiming to switch things up, offering a product that truly represents our region. Although the wrappers of their cigars are from the Dominican, they use a tobacco filler from Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.

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Southern Tabs cigars, if you haven’t tried them already, are a mild to medium cigar with flavors of nutmeg, white pepper, oak, and leather (which I always appreciate). They burn well with a distinct look, feel and smell … it’s like nothing else that I have tried. And that is what I like most about it … it’s different … not what you typically get in smoke shops.

I’m not going to make a grand or bold statement about how they are the best cigar I’ve ever smoked, and I’m not sitting here saying that it’s the only cigar I smoke. What I am saying is that I thoroughly enjoy their cigars, and I’m excited about what they are trying to do. Again, it’s different, bold and pretty damn cool.

Finally, a premium cigar brand that actually celebrates being grown in the South … where it all started.

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Southern Tab Cigars

Starting a business is an empowering and bold endeavor, there is the pride, and of course the money that can accompany it. Yet, it can also come with hurdles and unforeseen pitfalls that can quickly stifle a dream. It takes a special willpower… nerves of steel to go after your passion. Southern Tab is one of those businesses trying to forge ahead, chasing the American Dream … doing it on their own terms.

I had the opportunity to ask Southern Tab a few questions, as I wanted to find out a little more about their business, what they have gone through to try and launch their business, and how they plan to maintain their brand.

I hope you enjoy! (Responses in Blue)

 

Q: What made you start Southern Tab?

A: I was a groomsman in a friend’s wedding in Tuscaloosa, AL.  I had introduced him to the South and now he was marrying a southern belle himself.  Because of my convincing that all things from the South were better, picking up the groomsman cigars meant finding sticks made with southern grown tobacco, of course. Except, as most of your readers already know, they didn’t exist.  

In all of my cigars through the years, I had never really thought much outside of Nicaraguan, Honduran, Ecuadorian, or the ‘let’s all bow down & worship’ Cuban.  I was never loyal to any one label, blend, or country of origin, until it mattered to me.  Now, I was standing in a large humidor in Tuscaloosa, AL,  getting frustrated that in ‘Title-Town’ a place where many a victory cigar had been smoked, and a college town that has birthed plenty of southern lifestyle, there was no cigar available with southern grown tobacco from the region.  I assumed this was an anomaly, but over the next 3 months, I continued to be bewildered that those tobacco fields of the Southland from 200 years ago had moved out of country, sold-out, or just died out.  What was left was merely the short-seasoned tobacco crop for cigarettes and a handful of small farms that desperately tried to blend their crop with something from central america to give it more credence, or soak them in whiskey barrels, or fire-cure them in something else. 

So I started Southern Tab, to unashamedly use and proudly promote our Southern Tobacco from KY, NC, & VA.  …And, of course, to selfishly have a tasty southern cigar to smoke with my buddies.  However, this venture has turned into a small mission to help save a few remaining southern tobacco farms and re-ignite a passion for what was the South’s largest cash crops for a couple of centuries.

 

Q: How difficult has it been to use only Southern Tobacco for your cigars?

A: Extremely difficult. Especially, to get a variety for a solid blend.  I had been calling farms, e-mailing farmers, I was in cigar chat-rooms, and joined tobacco growers clubs to try to find tobacco farmers growing a southern broadleaf sufficient for a premium cigar.  I reached out to Dr. Michael Moore, the tobacco specialist with the school of Agriculture for the University of Georgia, to connect with farms around the state. He was able to connect me with a few farms in NC, but ironically, nothing usable in Georgia. I’m hoping this changes soon.  

I was lucky enough to come across the owner of BlackPatch Cigars, Eric McAnAllen, out of KY.  He had been growing & testing different tobaccos on his wife’s fourth generation tobacco farm she inherited in the black patch region of KY.   With over twenty years of working his own tobacco leaves, he has become our master blender.  We use two of his KY leaves in our blend and then couple those with a North Carolina Broadleaf and a Virginia type 37.  Now the kicker is that our wrapper is the only leaf NOT from the South. It’s from the Dominican.  Which, we make no bones about. It’s beautiful and is the perfect finish to our sticks. With the ph of American tobacco, we needed a component of the Tab make-up to balance our mild to medium cigar

 

Q: What makes Southern Tobacco different, than say Nicaraguan ?

A: Tobacco is a reflection of the soil from where it comes. So Southern Tobacco has its own signature that carries the flavors of the region.  Lots of earthy tastes and aromas, such as Oak, Leather, Pepper, Nutmeg, of course, we like to agree that it finishes like a Sweet Tea. The other differentiator in Southern Tobacco is that you know where these leaves come from.  You can visit these farms without a Visa and American Tobacco is also much more regulated as a farming product than anything in Central America, so this is cleaner and safer too. We pride ourselves on know whats in our leaves, from the ground up. 

There is a heritage and an American pride component in it for us as well. We tend to trust it more because we know the hands working the fields and they’re not kids or slave labor.  Which is the main reason why our sticks don’t cost $7.  Its Southern grown, under our rains & our water supply, with our air, in our Southern soil. That’s what makes it different. 

 

Q: Has distribution into stores been a challenge?

A: Unbelievably Challenging.  We’re not owned & thus not promoted by one of the ‘big 5’ cigar conglomerates out there.  Shops & Cigar lounges don’t want to deal with a one-off, they’d prefer to place all their orders with a single distributer.  Plus, even if we get a seat in the humidor, we never get prime shelf space, because that is reserved for the big dogs paying the big bucks for it. The other challenge is our premium price-point. As mentioned above, our leaves, labor costs and processing just costs so much more for an American grown product. So it is hard to sell our premium cigar and our story without a trusted name behind it to convince people of it’s value. Once we do get into shops, they love us and usually get behind us to promote our unique difference. So we’re looking at how to target the smaller places that sell cigars to our demographic, but may not have a lounge or a walk-in humidor.  Country Clubs, Beach Resorts, and Shooting Clubs have all been good to us.

 

Q: Have you been happy with customer feedback? How do you feel your product is being received?

A: The one thing that keeps saving us and keeps getting our feet in more doors to retailers is the product itself. It is a mild -mild/medium smoke that finishes well and wont knock you on your ass. It is designed for the guy like myself that doesn’t smoke a cigar every day, but on a Saturday with the boys on a back porch, in the field on a hunt, after a bulldog victory, or celebrating life somewhere else.  Our customer’s feedback has been amazing.  We get amazing reviews.  the only negative comment we received recently was that the roll was too tight and they had to re-lite a couple of times. To that, we understand, and since our sticks are hand-rolled in the Dominican, by the best in the industry, we take it as a rare shortcoming.   Our overall reception of the sticks has been fantastic. And I dont even know if people know about the story behind them or that they are American grown here in the South.  We have international buyers order our sticks from Scotland and Germany.  Not sure how they’re fans, but we love them. (And yes, I’ve tried to work out some trades for some Scotch Whiskey, but it hasn’t come to fruition yet)  Our biggest struggle is letting people know that we exist. Once they know our story, and try our cigar, they love us.

 

Q: Where do you see your company growing and going? Anything new coming out?

A: I see the growth of Southern Tab in 3 major markets; college towns, outdoor sporting clubs, and country clubs around the south. We’ve been lucky enough to be featured as a ‘top recommended gifts’ this Holiday Season, in the upcoming Dec/Jan Garden & Gun magazine which plays to one of our core audiences. And we’ll be the exclusive cigar carried in their Field Shop retail store in Charleston. I would love to see us involved in more Southern weddings (since that’s where it all started) as well as graduations & college football victory cigars.  Don’t be surprised if you see a celebrity partner with us pretty soon.  We also are looking at what it could be to partner with a bourbon or high-end moonshine. 

 

As far as what’s new coming out, we’re are talking to a farmer in Meriwether Co. Georgia that just harvested his first batch of tobacco in August.  Tobacco is grown in 13 counties in Georgia, but nothing suitable for a premium cigars. This would give us a Georgia broadleaf to put in our blend. 

At the same time, I’m trying to get a 6th generational shade tree tobacco farm in Gadston Co. Florida to resurrect a tobacco crop for us too.  This would give us 1-2 additional blends.  Our next blend will certainly be a little more robust, but this is still probably not until Fall of 2019.  Until then, we have our single blend with limited edition labels.  We will continue to work our packaging game too. We’ve received lots of compliments on our presentation, but there is still lots more we’d love to do to pull in more of the Southern culture into our packaging. Ya’ll have any ideas, we’d love to hear them. 

 

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If you haven’t already, give these guys a try! Support local business … southern made businesses.  Think about where and how you are spending your money.

Follow them on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/southerntab/

And check out their amazing selection on their website here: https://southerntab.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New South is Here