A New York company that was founded in 1997 out of the trunk of a car and has grown to be one of the top 10 online cigar retailers in the nation is moving its operations to the CAN DO Corporate Center in Drums.
The company, New Global Marketing, Inc., which operates the online retail company bestcigarprices.com, is in the process of converting a 25,000-square-foot building in the corporate center and expects to begin operations there by Nov. 1, according to Greg Fox, the company’s chief operating officer.
New Global will initially employ between 35 and 40 people with expectations of reaching 60 employees within a few years, Fox said.
Bestcigarprices.com is currently operating from a 10,000-square-foot building in Kingston, N.Y., but will cease operations there once the new facility in Drums opens.
“We are very pleased that this company chose our corporate center for its new home,” said Kevin O’Donnell, CAN DO’s president. “We believe an online retailer’s headquarters is a good fit for the corporate center.”
CAN DO is assisting New Global with financing through Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development.
The company received a $1,268,100 funding offer, including a $75,000 opportunity grant, $17,100 in job training assistance, $76,000 in job creation tax credits and a $1.1 million low-interest loan through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who work directly with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
New Global Marketing was founded by Alan Blatt in 1997 when he launched several companies under the New Global name that sold soaps, groceries, pearls, wine glasses and cigars.
“It was the cigars that took off,” Fox said.
Once the cigar business increased, Blatt moved the operations into his house, using closets in the bedrooms as humidors, Fox said. The business quickly outgrew those accommodations and Blatt purchased a building in the early 2000s in Rosendale, N.Y.
He helped cover his costs for the new building by renting three-quarters of it to residential tenants. As the business grew, it occupied more and more of the building, taking over the residential space.
In 2006, Blatt passed away. His brother, Dr. Ronald Blatt, took over and has been the president and CEO of the company since. In 2007, the company moved to its present 10,000-square-foot facility in Kingston, N.Y.
In December 2010, Ed Grossman – a full-time consultant for the company – spoke to Blatt and Fox about moving the company to Pennsylvania for tax advantages.
“In the first week of January, Ed and I got in his car and drove toward Pennsylvania, not knowing where we could locate the business. When we crossed into Pennsylvania, we saw a welcome center and stopped there. There were two guys looking at a big map of the state and we talked to them about our business. One of the men recommended the Scranton area as a potential location,” Fox said.
“So, we met with the Scranton Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber introduced us to Mericle Commercial Real Estate, who showed us several options, including the building in the CAN DO Corporate Center. When we came to the park in Drums, we immediately fell in love with the area, the building and the proximity to interstates,” he said.