Hunters & Frankau has awarded the Silver Chaveta for Habanos Retailer of the Year 2013 to Ranald MacDonald of Boisdale 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.
Ranald MacDonald originally opened a wine shop in 1985 but then opened the restaurant and jazz club, Boisdale Belgravia, in 1988, serving up a mix of fine Scottish food, whisky, jazz and, naturally, Cuban cigars.
The restaurant, lead by Ranald’s exuberant passion, went from strength to strength and in 2007 when, in the face of the newly introduced smoking ban, Boisdale opened the first bespoke cigar terrace, Ranald forged a path that many have since followed.
His commitment and determination to keep cigars as an integral part of the Boisdale character has never wavered and when, in 2009, he launched his most ambitious project, Boisdale Canary Wharf, it came complete with a walk-in humidor, sampling lounge and two heated terraces.
Each of these two venues also offer regular Cuban cigar master classes that have become an extremely welcome addition to the cigar smoker’s diary as well as serving to keep cigar smoking in the social and gastronomic domain.
Ranald will now attend the Habanos Festival in Havana at the end of February in 2014 as a guest of Hunters & Frankau.
Previous winners of the Silver Chaveta are:
2012 Andrew & Chris Corrieri of Brucciani’s & Cuban Cigar Club
2011 Paresh Patel of Havana House
2010 Keir Sword and Chris Kilpatrick of Cigar Box
2009 Paul Gilmore of Shave & Coster
2008 Ajay and Bhavna Patel of La Casa del Habano
2007 Robert Emery of JJ Fox & Robert Lewis Cigar Merchants
2006 Desmond Sautter of Sautters of Mayfair
2005 Mitch Orchant of Cgars Ltd
2004 Edward Sahakian of Davidoff of London
2003 Vimal Shah of Burlington Bertie
2002 John Withers of John Hollingsworth & Son
2001 Mike Davies of Cigar Connoisseur/Frederick Tranter
2000 Tom Assheton of Tomtom Cigars
1999 Jean Clark of Harrods’ Cigar Department