Ambassador Fine Cigars – Scottsdale, AZ
Cigar smoking has always been presented as a gentleman’s game. It comes as no surprise that cigar lounges and stores try to capitalize on this image, and indeed Ambassadors’ does so well. On their website they talk about how they are an everyman store, and they are that, as well as a gentleman’s playground. Every customer has a place in their store, but the mentality of Ambassadors from its decor, to its proprietor is refinement and class.
The proprietor is Vartan Seferian, and he is the affable host of Ambassador Fine Cigar. On the many occasions that I have frequented the store he has always been a welcoming and helpful host. He will often ask a few questions along the line of “what body strength are you looking for,” and ”what range in price are you looking to spend?” This is usually followed by a delightful stroll through the humidor, in which he enumerates the many cigars that would fit the guests parameters, until you ultimately decide upon one. There are other workers in the store as well that are knowledgeable, but Vartan really is encyclopedic in his knowledge of cigars, and is first rate in his ability to make the consumer feel like they belong.
The atmosphere of the store from the construction of the humidor down to the attire of the staff is suffused with class and dignity. The rich dark wood cabinetry and shelving looks like it belongs in a captain of industry’s office or lounge, the ensconced lighting also has the subtle textures of old world meets new. The Humidor is simple and elegant using large panes of glass to allow natural lighting in to highlight the selections, as if God himself approved and was personally highlighting his favorites. The sitting area in the front is simple and plush, with a small area for customers to come in and sit a spell. All of the staff wears fine suits, which indicates also to the customer, that while this may be an everyman’s store, it is a gentleman’s store first! This to me is the unique factor about Ambassador Fine Cigar it; every inch of the store plays on a customer’s psychology. Fast food restaurants use bright colors, like red, to be a tacit visual message to the consumer that this place of business is meant to be quick, i.e. get in, get your food, eat quickly, and leave. Like the use of color psychology, Vartan employs the subtlety of opulence to create a higher price point in the consumer.
Vartan’s prices are set reasonably, if not lower than most, but very few individuals I have spoken to have ever walked out of there without dropping more than they expected. It wasn’t because of the price, as much as it was about feeling the need to buy more expensive due to the environment that they were in. Simply put, an opulent plush setting and well manicured staff equals a setting where the consumer feels compelled to reflect his environment and buy lavishly themself.
The negative aspect to the store is perhaps its club which is truly a “members only” affair. Given once again that this store caters to a wealthy area it seems fitting that there would be a club for those of the plutocracy, and indeed there is. When one of my friends inquired about this room and what it took to become a part, the worker said that it required you to spend quite a bit of money. My friend then inquired how much, and the worker said that its not worth asking, because it was also “invite only” and left it at that. So the moral of the story is that if you want to browse the main part and the sitting area up front you are more than welcome too, but unless you are part of the wealthy upper echelon you should probably not hold your breathe on passing the velvet rope.
Ambassador Fine Cigar is truly an experience. From one of the largest, most well stocked humidors in the valley, to all of the gentlemanly overtones the store is a great location to come and buy a stick from. The environment invites the casual consumer to step outside their buying shell, while it offers the wealthy customer a place to come and discuss the daily grind after a long day at work (just don’t expect these classes to meet in the exclusive “members club“). So if you are in the Paradise Valley part of Arizona, and you are in the mood for a great selection of sticks at a fair to great price, then Ambassador Fine Cigars does it with flair and style!
Ambassador Fine Cigars
4912 E Shea Blvd # 108
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Visit the Ambassador Fine Cigars website
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