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Old 01-21-2014, 07:27 PM   #1
bruceolee
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Default Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

He's an internet legend


http://www.youtube.com/user/TWCigarsFL?feature=watch


I'm not sure what happened to Kris after selling tobacco world (other than counting stacks of money) I will say to those members that are newer and live in the south florida area that you missed one of the craziest, weirdest, most awesome, generous, BOTL experiences of your life by not getting to see Kris at work.

When we had club stogie I was making regular trips down to jackson memorial hospital and sylvester cancer centers in deerfield beach in prep for a fairly major surgery. Now on Club Stogie one of Kris's employee's Mariit (hope I'm not destroying her name) was his online rep and marketer. I made some threats about visiting the store with it being so close to the deerfield office or on my way home from Miami. Several of the BOTL at club stogie made good recommendations about the store so as a sort of unofficial rep for club stogie to tobacco world I made the visit after speaking with Mariit on several occasions. I went into a store that at the time looked like it was in the middle of nowhere. It was a great, although poorly, kept secret oasis of sorts. I went in and talked to the guy working the front and said who i was and which site I came from online. He looked at me like I was speaking ancient greek. I guess Mariit overheard and came running downstairs to meet me. We had prearranged a purchase of a box of very hard to find series X boomers and she was holding them for me to pick up. As we were talking this larger than life character, that could be pulled out of an episode of the sopranos, comes over and Kris asks Mariit if I'm "the internet guy" which gave me a laugh because I kind of felt like I was in the sopranos. I've never been "the guy" for anything before. I have plenty of "the guys" in my life but never actually been one.
Kris then proclaims, rather loudly, "I wanna buy you a cigar" He told me to pick anything I wanted and i'm not trying to be the person that comes in and picks the most expensive cigar he has. So, I'm looking around at his rather extensive selection and I'm looking at something in the $8 - $10 range and he's asking me what type of cigars I like so I'm giving him the full bodied, full flavor, but not harsh category when like a bolt of lightning Kris says "I've got the perfect cigar for you!" and he proceeds to give me a Padron 26 No. 2 Maduro (Belicoso) and like I said I wasn't going to be THAT guy that goes for anything top of the line. For all he knew I was never gonna come back there again so he had no obligation to pull a cigar like that out and this was before we all found out what a huge Padron fan Kris is. So, here's this crazy guy that sounds like a captain in the sopranos family lighting my cigar for me. My father was with me as well because during some of my doctor visits I had to be anesthetized so I was unfit to drive afterwards and this was the case that day. So, I'm a little drugged (foggy as hell) when this was happening too. Kris and Mariit were amazing hosts and Kris gave me the grand tour of his members club and one of his great rants about why Non-Cuban cigars are better than Cuban cigars but he still loves cuban cigars and so on. He straight up told me if we ever wanted the guys from club stogie to do a HERF that the club was open for our use anytime we wanted it. He also was saying things about how one of his members is a pilot and he'd love to have me fly down with him to Nicaragua and tour the Padron factory and do a story for Club Stogie about it. Kris could market and he knew what the internet would mean to cigar retailers and how much it could help business. So, I'm drugged, Smoking a Padron with him and getting all this and it was just a fun, amazing visit to a retailer who did not know me at all. Kris made good on all his promises as well for Club Stogie. I never got to go to the Padron factory but that was more to the fact I was going through some MAJOR health issues that nearly killed me so I was in no condition for that kind of thing.


Those of us who know Kris and knew him then will tell you if you watch his videos that's exactly what he's like but he was also a very gracious host to us. When ever I could stop buy or was in the area I would always stop by and every time I did he'd come running from where ever he was to say hi. He would also let me use his members club whenever I stopped by and always gave me the members discount. I was never a member because I couldn't justify the price for not living nearby by but i was ALWAYS treated as one. I was heart broken when he sold to Smoke Inn but lord knows Abe is also a good guy so if anyone had to buy Kris out it might as well be him. I haven't seen Kris since then but where ever he is I wish him all the best and a part of me hopes he gets back into the game again someday. I'm not sure what others experiences were with Kris but mine were always great and he was always good to Club Stogie (in my mind Club Stogie is now Cigar Asylum and not that puff nonsense) and always a great host to us.


So, no big point to this thread but just wanted to relay some stories about my experiences with Tobacco world and Kris. I have no idea why they crossed my mind tonight but I just felt I needed to write them down. Maybe you have a story about Kris or tobacco world you might want to tell. good or bad, but never uninteresting that's for sure. Miss ya man!
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

use to follow his youtube

asking the same question in 2010..
http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20423

hope live treat him well....
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

Club Stogie did do a herf at Kris' place, MegaMoB3.

Not only got to hang out with Kris at the shop/lounge, but several of us went out to his favorite restaurant with Kris and his wife....we were treated like Kings, able to smoke at the table. My only weekend with Kris, but I agree he was a wonderful host and gentleman.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

He still goes to the store almost everyday around lunchtime. I usually see him when I stop by for a lunchtime smoke as my office is 10 min away.

And Heber still works there also!
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

Thanks for sharing Jason, love hearing stories like that, not just about old CS days, but just the general cigar / brother / good guy stories. Good stories about good people, hope we get more posts and stories like this in the future. Already added the videos to my list to watch, thanks again!
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

Blessings & thank you SO MUCH Jason for resurrecting the legend of Kris Baso for us alta kockers from Club Stogie.
The videos, the stories, the antics, I laughed so hard I would swallow smoke and start gasping and crying it was wonderful. I miss Kris.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

Kris was over my house last year, along with Heber for a herf.
He is doing quite well.
The time when he sold TW was a quite difficult time in his personal life but that is now behind him.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

Thank you guys for your kind responses to this thread. I wasn't sure how you guys would take this but that could just be the social anxiety disorder I suffer from and yes it applies to the internet as well.


The first HERF I ever went to was at Tobacco world. My brother and best friend enjoyed cigars but had never experienced cigar culture before so it was an amazing experience not just for me but for them as well. This was still in Club stogie days at that point. Ron (aka RON1YY) and I had become friends from the forums (NST,bombs, and so on) along with andrew, marc, bill and Carlos. When we arrived at the HERF Kris was up front working and immediately comes running up to me to say hello and to tell me the guys were in the members area. It was a little crazy getting to meet all the guys here. The first thing I recall after meeting Ron was Marc (Neuromancer) coming up to me and asking me who I was. I told him who I was and he just blurts out"You're bruceolee! I wanna shake your hand!" and then proceeds to put a cigar in my hand and told me to smoke it "right now!" Whats sad is I don't even remember which cigar it was now. Next thing I know Bill (madurofan) turns me around, shakes my hand and hands me a Monte #2. This would repeat OVER AND OVER again the entire night. Kris was such a gracious host. He had a business to run but he always came back to check on us and joke around with us. The atmosphere he provided made it so we went on a herf streak for a few weeks. That first night my head was spinning from all the cigars and friends I made that night, Carlos could tell a joke or a story that would shut everyone up and having us laughing our asses off the very next moment. What was very cool was the next herf we had most the guys bring their sons along with them and it really became a cool family thing. After a while the wives got invited and we had a blast with everyone. I remember the food Kris would provide (OMG!) was just amazing. Kris had a La Caja China and I remember us all out in the alley smoking cigars, drinking some cocktails, and pulling that unholy goodness that we call pig skin smoked to perfection off that pig or Kris would order sushi for everyone for no reason other than "it's a party" There was also the time he had Rocky Patel join us after an event Rocky did earlier that night and handed us a few of (at that time not released) 92' vintage "the sixty" to try. I have to say thanks to Kris for providing us the venue that created an atmosphere of family with all the guys. It was a classic and cool time for all of us. I still smile and laugh every time I think of Carlos making his sons face turn so red from bragging about attacking his mother in bed. it was all in fun and we always had a blast. The south Florida HERFS at tobacco world always turned into something of a legend. You never knew what was going to happen that night but you always knew you were going to have more fun than any of us ever deserved. Thank you Kris for providing us a place and Joining in and becoming one of the guys with us. Kris could've just hung back in the store collecting the money we spent but he was never like that! Kris was and is a brother through and through. If he called me tonight from Miami needing a ride I wouldn't hesitate to make the 2 hour drive for him he's that great of a friend. Anyways, just thought I'd relay some memories while I have them fresh in my mind.




Also Bill! you'd better be at the HERF in March!
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Kris Basso (Tobacco World)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueface View Post
The time when he sold TW was a quite difficult time in his personal life but that is now behind him.
I heard about that tough time but i'm glad he's doing well now.
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