A mobile cigar lounge will surely set your wedding apart from the rest and have your guests talking about it. Contact The Smokeasy Mobile Cigar Lounge here in Portland to find out everything you need to know about adding this unique and celebratory element to your wedding reception. We asked local owner, Jeremy Schram, a few questions. Check it out below!
Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?
I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. My wife/business partner is originally from the Northeast of Scotland where we like to go visit her family as often as possible.
What is your favorite thing (or things) about Portland?
One of my favorite things about Portland is its proximity to the mountain and the coast. We spend as much free time as we can camping up on Mount Hood. A close second would have to be the people. I’ve been around the world and around the US and the people in Portland are some of the most down-to-earth, friendly people around.
How long have you been working as a wedding professional?
We have been throwing cigar related parties for many years and loved it so much we decided to start a business out of it. So, while this is our first official year of business, it’s by no means our first year in the event world!
You own a unique business! Please briefly explain what you do/offer.
The Smokeasy is a mobile cigar lounge that can be customized for any event. We bring out the cigars along with the entire lounge. We’ll setup leather scroll arm chairs, tables, ash trays, cutters, lighters, etc. We also stay for the event to help guests pick the right cigar for their taste profile, cut and light their cigar as well as to answer any questions about what they are smoking.
In addition, we also offer a covered space with lighting, walls and heat (if necessary). We can also provide custom labels for cigars that can include initials, a special date or artwork. For a special touch, we can also offer cigars in tubes that match the event colors.
In what ways does your CiGAR business enhance a couple’s wedding day?
Cigars are synonymous with celebration and they’re also one of the great luxuries in life, so cigars and weddings just go together! On top of that, we find that cigars truly bring people together; they encourage people to sit, relax and have conversations with each other. Weddings can be awesomely frenetic balls of excited energy and it’s nice to have a contrast available for guests — a space where guests and hosts alike can spend a little time enjoying fine tobacco in the company of their friends and family. This is what draws so many people to enjoy them.
opportunities led you to this career path?
I studied business/marketing in college and part of me always knew that I would run my own business some day. Out of college I had the opportunity to make a good living in IT so I joined a company here in Portland where I worked for several years, but the longer I sat behind a desk the more I realized that I had no passion for the job I was doing. My wife recognized that I wasn’t happy in IT and asked me what I really wanted to do and the answer was obvious! I had been smoking pipes and cigars since just about the day I turned 18 and we’d been throwing increasingly elaborate parties for friends and family. I told her that if I could do anything, it would be to combine my passion for tobacco and entertaining. I have to give all the credit to her when it comes to the idea for the business and helping me bring it to life.
What is the best part Running a Cigar Lounge?
My favorite part is definitely the day of the event. The look on peoples’ faces when I help then choose a cigar is like a kid in a candy store. And then there’s that sweet spot when the lounge is full and I get to see people connecting and reconnecting over this shared experience of smoking a cigar. It’s a real feel-good moment, every time.
What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?
We only do one event a day, so we have to turn down people when dates fill up. While we could technically do multiple events if the times worked out, we believe that it’s important to focus on one couple at a time. For weddings especially, this is really special day for the hosts and we don’t want them to stress about whether a vendor will show up on time. We wish we could be at every wedding but we want to focus our attention on one client at a time.
Do you work solo or do you have a team?
Unless we have an event with over 500 people, I typically work the event alone (after my wife gives me a bit of help setting up).
What do you attribute to your success as a wedding vendor?
We understand that couples are really looking to impress their guests and throw the sort of party that people won’t forget. This drive to delight guests is what makes us successful. People get so excited when we help them plan their event and that excitement definitely continues through the event.
At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?
If we were to get married (to each other) again, we would book the cigar lounge, then find a venue, then get the dress… but we’re strange like that! In all seriousness, clients should get in touch with us once they have their venue in mind. That way, we can work with the venue to ensure that they can accommodate us. There are some regulations around smoking, but for the most part any venue with outdoor space can accommodate a cigar lounge.
Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?
I find that most of my inspiration comes from my wife. She works so hard and inspires me in what I do. In addition to her, I get a lot of my inspiration from the cigars I smoke. I am constantly trying new cigars. There are a lot of people who find that one cigar they love and will smoke them forever. I am not one of those people. I do have a few favorites, but I find more joy in trying new cigars and then sharing the great ones with others. I have clients who request certain cigars, but I love it when they give me full reign to choose a selection for their guests. I have yet to disappoint. Product testing is a lot of fun too!
What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?
What is your best advice for wedding clients?
RELAX! And the best way to do that is to hire people to do the hard stuff. When we got married, we tried to do it all by ourselves. We quickly realized that it was worth saving our sanity to hire the right people to do the jobs that seemed so simple in the beginning.
Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
When all the planning is done and the big day has arrived, the stress over the little things will go away. We do a lot of planning to ensure that every event goes off without a hitch. Our products are always top quality and we enjoy helping those who have never smoked a cigar light up their very first one.
Do you want us to feature your local Portland wedding business? Contact us at info@artofweddingspdx!