When most people say they’re thinking “outside the box,” they mean they’re being creative or approaching the question from a new angle. But when Lakewood resident Jim Tate of Texas Cigar Brothers says it, he means it more literally — thanks to his freshly patented “Humidor-less” packaging, his cigars finally have a chance to sell from outside the Plexiglas case. To be at its best, a premium smoke must be kept at just under 70 percent humidity — damp enough to keep the tobacco from drying out, but not so wet that it molds. Tate’s new individual packaging uses a special kind of air-locking plastic and a moisture-managing “Humidipak” to keep each of his Flor de Jardin cigars in their smokeable prime. “Humidors, which are the big boxes most vendors sell their cigars in, are hard to control humidity-wise. With this new package, though, I can drive around in the Texas sun all summer with a pack of premium cigars on my dashboard, and by winter, they’ll still be good to smoke.” Since the cigars no longer have to be kept in cases for humidity’s sake, they can be sold from just about anywhere — countertops of cigar bars, or right next to the cash register in a grocery store. And that means only good things for Tate. His cigars are already showing up online — Lil’ Brown Smoke Shack just bought the first case of 100 cigars — and Dallas-area locales such as Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano cigar bar and Majestic Liquor are quickly following suit. “We’re the only guys doing this right now, and our pending deals are massive … because right now, there’s just nothing like it.”

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