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2011 Silver Chaveta Awarded to Paresh Patel of Havana House

2011 Silver Chaveta Awarded to Paresh Patel of Havana House

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Hunters & Frankau has awarded the Silver Chaveta for Habanos Retailer of the Year 2011 to Paresh Patel of Havana House in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the UK fine cigar trade.

First awarded in 1999, H&F presents the Silver Chaveta trophy to one Specialist in Habanos each year. The criteria for consideration include Habanos sales and promotion, presentation and humidification, general outlet appearance, investment and innovation and pro-activity within the market.

Paresh Patel received the coveted award from Ignacio Balmaseda, H&F’s Cuban Corporate Director, at the annual dinner of the Association of Independent Tobacco Specialists (A.I.T.S) on 9th October at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground in Nottingham.

Paresh started working with Cuban cigars 23 years ago in 1988, when he opened his first shop in Cheltenham. Although at that time only a few Habanos were offered for sale to customers, nestled amongst the loose tobacco, smoking accessories and other “bread and butter” items essential for a small tobacconist to survive.

With the support of his family, the business grew, but it was the advent of the internet which allowed his shop and services to reach a whole new customer base which resulted in the demand for Habanos increasing. This demand led to a much wider range of cigars being stocked and eventually a walk-in humidor being built. However, his first trip to Havana in 1999 sparked a flame and within a year of his return, he opened a Gold awarded Specialist cigar shop in Windsor called Havana House with his then partner. Today it still thrives selling fine cigars and smoking accessories to the illustrious inhabitants and visitors alike.

After the smoking ban in 2007 Paresh was one of the most proactive people at promoting smoking events outdoors – particularly ones held on water. His Cuban cigar cruises on the river in Windsor are legendary and tickets usually sell out within days for this annual event.

In 2010 he acquired another Cigar Specialist shop, “The Bear Shop” in Cardiff expanding his retail operation and has continued to provide a blend of passionate, informed and personalised service that is already proving to be as much of a success in Wales as it has been in Windsor.

Paresh will attend the Habanos Festival in Havana at the end of February in 2012 as a guest of Hunters & Frankau.

Previous winners of the Silver Chaveta are:

1999 Jean Clark of Harrods’ Cigar Department
2000 Tom Assheton of Tomtom Cigars
2001 Mike Davies of Cigar Connoisseur/Frederick Tranter
2002 John Withers of John Hollingsworth & Son
2003 Vimal Shah of Burlington Bertie
2004 Edward Sahakian of Davidoff of London
2005 Mitch Orchant of Cgars Ltd
2006 Desmond Sautter of Sautters of Mayfair
2007 Robert Emery of JJ Fox & Robert Lewis Cigar Merchants
2008 Ajay and Bhavna Patel of La Casa del habano.
2009 Paul Gilmore of Shave & Coster
2010 Keir Sword and Chris Kilpatrick of Cigar Box

Paresh Patel in 'The Bear Shop' with Hunters & Frankau Sales Representative, Patrick Williams.
Paresh Patel in ‘The Bear Shop’ with Hunters & Frankau Sales Representative, Patrick Williams.
Paresh and Alex Hoare of 'The Bear Shop' with the Silver Chaveta award.
Paresh and Alex Hoare of ‘The Bear Shop’ with the Silver Chaveta award.

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