Despite a frenetic schedule of travel, lobbying and finding time to run his hugely popular cigar brand, Rocky Patel is never short of fun stuff. Trying to interview Patel at this year’s InterTabac show in Dortmund, Germany, is like trying to herd cats.
He’s constantly waving to colleagues and passers by, being interrupted by fans, and on several occasions, friends and colleagues who seem to think his time is fair game at any moment for a catch up – whether mid interview or not.
“Sorry about that,” he says, not for the first time, as yet another passer by stops in for a chat. Rocky is a wanted man. Everyone wants a piece of him. And he manages to carry it off with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders.
Cigar Rights of Europe
“I’m still busy man,” he says without a word of a lie. “Lots going on. In terms Cigar Rights of Europe? We think it’s time to get a professional lobbyist on board. It’s expensive, but we’ve reached the stage where we need someone, who has ears of the right people, to be able to put across our point of view. There’s only so much we can achieve on our own. This is the next step.”
As well as pushing cigar rights in both the US and Europe, Patel continues to launch new cigars and in particular push his opulent brand of cigar lounge. Burn by Rocky Patel has now opened in several locations across the US (Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh) and at InterTabac, scooped the Cigar Journal Trophy award for Best Lounge.