Mike's Cigars Information





Company Information

Mike's Cigars is one of the oldest Cigar distributors in the United States and has been serving cigar consumers in America and over the world since 1950. After 45 years of operating from its original location on Arthur Godfrey Road, in 1995 Mike's Cigars moved its operations to its current location where they still hold Postal Permit. Founded by Mike Mersel in 1950 decades before cigars became the domain of the common man. Mercel first sold socks and other goods from a pushcart in New York City on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1930s. To escape the northern winters, Mersel and Brother Albert “Ossie” relocated to South Florida where they began building their iconic cigar outfit in some unlikely places. For two years, the Mersel brothers sold hot dogs and peanuts in Flamingo Park. Next, they opened Mike’s News and Sundries on West Avenue and 17th Street in the early 1940s until they both were drafted to serve in World War II. After the war, the brothers reopened the business as Mike’s Cigars at 465 41st Street in Miami Beach, selling cigars at a time when few cigar shops existed. When Mike’s Cigars was opened, the Yankees were still the World Series champions and George Mikan was leading the Minneapolis Lakers to the championship of a young league called the National Basketball Association. Mike’s Cigars was selling mostly Cuban cigars until the U.S. embargo was imposed on Havana by President Kennedy in 1963 after Fidel Castro overtook Havana and nationalized the cigar industry in Cuba.




Following the U.S. embargo Mike’s Cigars became a distributor for the General Cigar Corporation, the biggest domestic cigar manufacturer at the time. 1971 was a milestone year for Mike’s Cigars going from a customer base of walk-ins and wholesale, Mike Cigars started internationally. That same year Mike's cigars began licensing their cigar brands which includes today a wide selection including Licenciados, Bauza, 898 Collection, Chevere, Old Fashioned, and Mike’s 1950. After three decades Mike’s Cigars became a distributor for all cigar companies. Mike recruited Oscar Boruchin, a Cuban born immigrant, who was an executive with General Cigar Corporation. Boruchin grew the company from a local storefront selling patrons’ favorite smokes to a first-class wholesale operation.


Cigar Boom


By 1980, Miami Beach’s demographics began to change. Boruchin began to scale Mike's Cigars up with a coffee bar, and cigar accessories boutique featuring cigar humidors , as well as smaller cigars for women. Business had almost tripled, totaling over 500,000 customers and Boruchin’s son-in-law, Oded Ben-Arie was brought aboard to help with the growth. By 1993, Cigar Aficionado magazine rated Mike’s Cigars brand the Licenciados Toro a rating of 93. At that time this was the highest rating ever given to a non-Cuban cigar. From as early as 1995, and definitely since 1997 and in early 2000's, the cigar industry experienced unprecedented growth both in the U.S. and globally. Sales multiplied every year and most merchants were have trouble getting cigars. Mike’s Cigars connections with the major suppliers such as Arturo Fuente and General Cigar proved to be a great advantage.


New Location

The growing business dictated Mike’s Cigars move to its new and much larger building with a cigar shop storefront. The move enabled the company to add an extensive cigar accessories housed within a new boutique on the main floor, which show cased cutters, lighters, cigar cases, ashtrays and humidors imported from France, Italy, and Spain. Operating from the new landmark building, sales doubled with 25-30 million cigars sold per year. Wall Street proposed an IPO in 1998, Mike’s Cigars decided to stay private. This decision proved to be correct when anti-smoke trends years later forced other public U.S. cigar corporations to privatize. It was also the year Mike’s Cigars expanded into e-commerce.



Internet Website

In 2010 Oscar Boruchin retired and Oded Ben Arie became Mike’s Cigars President and CEO. Under the new management Mike's Cigars introduced it's third generation computer system and website, mikescigars.com, serving cigar lovers all over the world, shipping over a thousand packages a day in the U.S. and many more to all other parts of the globe. Mike’s Cigars Mega store is a magnet to consumers and with inventory of ten million cigars it is one of the largest facilities of its kind, worldwide. On the first floor, a full feature cigar bar was built with big screen TV’s accommodating group parties and individuals who would like to have their drinks and smoke a cigar in comfort. Many cigar bars came and went but Mike’s Cigars lives on as one of the largest cigars stores in America. Oscar Boruchin retired in 2010 and his Sr. Vice President and CEO, Oded Ben-Arie took the helm as president Chief Executive Officer of the company. Mr. Ben-Arie joined Mike’s Cigars in 1991 and has been serving the company as its Chief Executive Officer since 2004. Mr. Ben-Arie will continue leading the company as it completes the transition in the hi-tech Internet age. Mike’s Cigars is one of the big three independent cigar mega-stores in the United States with retail and wholesale Internet websites and mail-order catalog services, offering premium cigars from most of the cigar manufacturers worldwide.