Sam Gawith Lines To Be Discontinued

Ernie Q

Well-known member
Sales
Patron
#63
Recognizing that this was a rant, you still have managed to raise the fundamental issue behind much of the frustration we all feel, at least in the US. The key is just who “they” is.

Gawith Hoggarth, which includes Samuel Gawith, is distributed in the UK to licensed outlets who deal directly with them. These outlets can also directly order other things, such as Stanwell pipes. I have no idea what the exact minimum order is, but it is a number that reflects what a retailer who just wants to keep his shelves stocked can live with.

Everywhere else in the world, Gawith sells tobacco to businesses who are licensed in their home country to import tobacco, a highly regulated and taxed commodity virtually anywhere in the world. Gawith actively services such importers in about 20 countries. Last night, the person I interrupted to ask about these “discontinued “ statements was busily finalizing the tin art for a shipment to Korea.

Export operations are done on a totally different scale. We are talking pallets, not a single box that would likely accommodate the minimum order for a UK retail outlet. Some items on a distributors shopping list might be in stock, and the packaging for that countries labeling requirements readily at hand. Some, or many things, might require more lead time, but nothing out of the ordinary for the normal course of operations on both ends, say as long as 4-6 months even for something that might be “special”such as Hansom Flake or Squadron Leader with Perique.

To pick some examples, Davidoff more or less controls it’s export distribution. The Davidoff rep who calls on a shop in the US gets a paycheck from Davidoff, in essence, even though they are a sub of a Swiss company, Oettinger Davidoff AG. MacBarens is imported and distributed to retailers in the US through their subsidiary, Sutliff. Gawith Hoggarth deals with independent businesses. All of them handle other products, too.

Distributors/importers choose what to order, just as shops in the Uk choose what to stock on their shelves. Kendal Plug is a good example. There was no impediment to it being available for order by the US distributor. But about two years ago, it didn’t show up in a drop. For at least 18 months, the manufacturer has been aware, through Facebook, that US customers wanted it. At least three reasonably good sized accounts with the old distributor passed on customer whines. This drop, it showed up. Why? The distributor ordered it. Some of it showed a date code that indicated the factory had it in inventory for a year or so, some was made in May of this year. The pallets actually left Kendal circa June 15.

Export pricing from the factory is on a world wide basis in UK £. Resellers set the prices they thank they can charge their customers.

No one export country is at any advantage or disadvantage when it comes to ordering from the factory, FDA or similar issues aside. If the US distributor wants more, they can order it. The factory can fill it on a schedule that is considered normal in the industry. Same thing is true for China. Same thing is true for Germany. The US is actually, even with all the FDA garbage, an easier place to do business with than some other countries.

And if US customers want plugs, when the US distributor is formally announced, flood them with requests for, say, Bob’s Chocolate Plug. (Same ingredients, so the consensus is that the FDA isn’t an issue). The factory would gladly make it. (AFAIK, Cannon Plug wouldn’t have been filed with the FDA). They might even entertain a request for Bob’s Chocolate Twist or Pigtail, but not without grumbling. St. James plug would be a no brainer if the distributor ordered, oh, say, 20 master cases. (A master case is 100 tins). But distributors these days in the US don’t market. They are largely moving to web based “platforms“ that eliminate the need for reps. As @Ernie Q will remember, Sheffield Exchange had reps who knew the product, supported the shops who carried it (one rep even went to the trouble of finding and refurbishing not just one, but two, antique plug cutters for a shop), had Rogers style pipe knives imprinted with Gawith Hoggarth, and went to collector shows where they provided samples.

So who is left to market the product? Shops are largely cigars these days. Everybody I know who is connected with an etailer swears up and down that margins are razor thin for tinned tobacco in the internet market.

I am reliably informed that the World Wide Web is accessible in Kendal, Cumbria, UK. Don’t think for one minute that the frenzy that surrounds every US drop isn’t known to people who count there. Don’t think for one minute that the thought hasn’t occurred “Gee, we could sell more tobacco in the US if somebody would just get off their dead ::ass::, order it, and try to sell it.” ( And don’t think for one minute that that last thought has been expressed to me in exactly that language. I am no longer licensed to do anything except drive, and I never claimed to have a poetic license 😀, but I am old and get away with taking lots of liberties. ) They are well aware of what Synjeco does.

Gawith Hoggarth is not STG, nor MacBarens, nor K&K, nor Sutliff. They simply don’t have the distribution options that companies of that size have. But larger scale means homogenized leaf sources and automated processing. Pick one. I enjoy their products, and have put up with the frustrations since the mid 1980’s. But I thoroughly enjoyed the bowls of MacBaren Burley London Mixture, Plumcake, and Sutliff Burley Delite I have consumed in the last few days, too.

TL;DR When it comes to Gawith, “they” means the importer in the country where you reside, as far as availability Issues are concerned. There is frustration on both sides of the Atlantic.
As a tobacco retailer of some 25 years (most of my adult life) I may have a very different view. You see, blends come and go. They also change and evolve due to many various reasons. @Codgerindecline mentions Burley London Blend...one of my old favorites. I have a few tins left in my stash. Every once in a while I open a tin and recall how good it was. At some point I will have smoked it all and I’ll look back and remember how good it was. I certainly won’t die and rending my garments isn’t my style. There are (for now) plenty Of other choices out there.

I think back on when I started in tobacco in 1995 when we could still sell, acquire and blend tobacco. With relative impunity and think that anyone who goes into the business of retail or wholesale tobacco Now was either born into it or has farts in his head. I’ve said it before amd I’ll say it again...if things continue the way they are going, this business has 10 or so good years left. The more states legalize and tax Marijuana the less tobacco revenue is needed. We’re expendable now more than ever.

So I understand the sense of urgency that adds to the frustration of not being able to procure your favorite blends. great outfits like the Sheffield exchange aren’t going to happen again. I loved those guys. A typical phone call to them went like this-
“Yeah, Sheffield”
“Hey It’s Watch City”
“Whaddaya need today”
“We need 5 bags of Cannon Plug, 3 Dark Plug Rose Geranium, 5 DVC, 5 whiskey Twist, and about 10 tins of each of the tinned blends. And send me a set of the cheap Rogers pipe knives and two of the “Shrewsbury” knives made out of stag. Oh, and a dozen mixed figurall clay pipes and a box of the large sized Gawith menthol snuff.“
“Ok we’ll get that out today”.
Now it’s a game and it’s not the fun kind....buy what you can. Don’t make yourself insane over lost blends and keep a good cellar. That’s all we can do.
@Codgerindecline taking into consideration your insights above I have to ask what are your thoughts on the feasibility of multiple US Distributors?
 

BlueMaxx

"Foo Was Here"
Patron
#65
If anything it should improve with them having found a second importer to the States.
I suppose...for me personally it makes me appreciate the independent small blenders all the more.

Big Tobacco in the pipe world I have found takes on a whole different meaning.
It is like some very few large conglomerates behind a blurry screen.

But I am a new hand at this...so maybe it’s just the 5PM cynicism kicking in.
 
#66
As a tobacco retailer of some 25 years (most of my adult life) I may have a very different view. You see, blends come and go. They also change and evolve due to many various reasons. @Codgerindecline mentions Burley London Blend...one of my old favorites. I have a few tins left in my stash. Every once in a while I open a tin and recall how good it was. At some point I will have smoked it all and I’ll look back and remember how good it was. I certainly won’t die and rending my garments isn’t my style. There are (for now) plenty Of other choices out there.

I think back on when I started in tobacco in 1995 when we could still sell, acquire and blend tobacco. With relative impunity and think that anyone who goes into the business of retail or wholesale tobacco Now was either born into it or has farts in his head. I’ve said it before amd I’ll say it again...if things continue the way they are going, this business has 10 or so good years left. The more states legalize and tax Marijuana the less tobacco revenue is needed. We’re expendable now more than ever.

So I understand the sense of urgency that adds to the frustration of not being able to procure your favorite blends. great outfits like the Sheffield exchange aren’t going to happen again. I loved those guys. A typical phone call to them went like this-
“Yeah, Sheffield”
“Hey It’s Watch City”
“Whaddaya need today”
“We need 5 bags of Cannon Plug, 3 Dark Plug Rose Geranium, 5 DVC, 5 whiskey Twist, and about 10 tins of each of the tinned blends. And send me a set of the cheap Rogers pipe knives and two of the “Shrewsbury” knives made out of stag. Oh, and a dozen mixed figurall clay pipes and a box of the large sized Gawith menthol snuff.“
“Ok we’ll get that out today”.
Now it’s a game and it’s not the fun kind....buy what you can. Don’t make yourself insane over lost blends and keep a good cellar. That’s all we can do.
@Codgerindecline taking into consideration your insights above I have to ask what are your thoughts on the feasibility of multiple US Distributors?
There just aren’t that many choices in the US in today’s environment. Pipe tobacco just isn’t that attractive to handle as a small line for a multi line outfit, nor large enough for a smaller player to make a living from. But, keep in mind that I have yet to hear one word, publicly or privately, other than Laudisi was going to be the new importer for Gawith Hoggarth. I never asked if that change, which I learned of in late August, included Samuel Gawith. I got out of the business of cross examining people on 1/1/2015 and have made it a point to never, ever, intentionally do it again. So, there very well could be two distributors for tobacco leaving Kendal, UK, for the US, but I don’t know or care. It isn’t my business. It is a hobby, and I enjoy the friendships I have made over 40 years more than the tobacco. But not more than my Castellos😀
 

Ernie Q

Well-known member
Sales
Patron
#67
[QUOTE=" So, there very well could be two distributors for tobacco leaving Kendal, UK, for the US, but I don’t know or care. It isn’t my business. It is a hobby, and I enjoy the friendships I have made over 40 years more than the tobacco. But not more than my Castellos😀[/QUOTE]

I remember when it was a hobby too....I also remember when there were ashtrays in the doctors offices.
 
#68
[QUOTE=" So, there very well could be two distributors for tobacco leaving Kendal, UK, for the US, but I don’t know or care. It isn’t my business. It is a hobby, and I enjoy the friendships I have made over 40 years more than the tobacco. But not more than my Castellos😀
I remember when it was a hobby too....I also remember when there were ashtrays in the doctors offices.[/QUOTE]
I can remember doctors smoking pipes, cigars and even cigarettes.
 

Yosemite

Klingon Ambassador to Terra
Patron
#77
Laudisi keeps buying up brands and getting distribution contracts for what they don't own. I hope they spend a little money on fighting the ever increasing spread of internet tobacco sales bans..... it looks inevitable at this point but maybe not, as the saying goes.... invest in America, buy a congressman today
 

PiperAtTheGates

Well-known member
Patron
#78
The blends that I've been told that are planned to be discontinued are as follows.

All aromatic twist except Brown Irish, Brown Bogie, Brown Pigtail & Sliced Black.

Happy Irish X
Four Squires
Broken Scotch Cake Chocolate
Scotch Flake
Kendal Flake
Cherry Cream Flake
Dark Flake Aromatic
No.25
No.12
No.5
No.20
Moorland Mixture
DVC
DVC Chocolate
LR3
SG Kendal Cream Flake
SG Cannon Plug
SG Palace Gate
SG all 4 seasons

Sorry to see Four Squires on that list, I was enjoying that going under the radar.