West Tampa continues to invest in expanding their global footprint with the addition of Stijn Elberson to lead the company’s international expansion.
Stijn is no stranger to the handmade cigar world, bringing nearly two decades of premium hand-rolled cigar experience to West Tampa Tobacco Company. Starting his career at Habanos in 2005, Stijn quickly got hooked on handmade cigars leading several key initiatives both in Cuba and in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg). He then joined Swedish Match in 2008 where he helped develop the General Cigar line of products in the Benelux. After the acquisition of Swedish Match by Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Stijn quickly rose up the ranks ultimately earning the role of Director of International Sales & Marketing. In addition to building all STG/General Cigar brands outside the US, Stijn built a talented and passionate team that allowed them to achieve significant sales and profit growth.
In May of 2021 Stijn decided to further pursue his love and passion for handmade cigars by starting his own import/distribution company in the Netherlands, Small Batch Traders. It was here that Stijn reunited with former colleagues Ricky Rodriguez and Gus Martinez.
“As friends and former colleagues at STG/General Cigar, we have a deep respect and trust of Stijn and his capabilities. He has been instrumental to this point in building our brand outside of the US and we expect to see continued global growth in the near future”, said Gus Martinez, President and co-owner. Martinez continued, “We are fortunate to not only have the opportunity to welcome someone who has a deep understanding of the industry but shares the same values that both Rick and I believe will be key to the success of our company”.
Stijn will be based in Elst, The Netherlands and his company Small Batch Traders will continue to be the exclusive distributor of West Tampa Tobacco Company cigars in the Netherlands.