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John Anderson has been immersed in the retail world since his purchase of W. Curtis Draper in 1999. Retail sales and customer service are Anderson’s passions and during his tenure, he has transformed W. Curtis Draper’s smoking experience into a world-class cigar emporium and retail outlet. Together with Matt Krimm, the two are responsible for the vision, direction and day-today execution of W. Curtis Draper’s two locations in Washington, DC and Bethesda, MD. In 1992 Anderson joined a New York coffee company that needed assistance with the execution of their plan to migrate to Washington, DC., Ferrara’s was born, the name licensed from the legendary Ferrara in Little Italy, New York, and Anderson designed, built, and opened three company stores in the DC area. In 1994, John joined another coffee competitor, Barista Brava as Director of Operations, growing the business from one company store to five, along with two registered franchisees. Anderson managed all aspects of daily company operations, store layout and design, menus, product development, and training, operations, and product manuals, as well as their Unified Franchise Offering Circular. Anderson is the current Treasurer of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers of America. As a board member, he fervently lobbies on Capitol Hill on tax issues and against FDA regulation in the premium cigar industry. Anderson also enjoys extreme skiing, cycling, golf and barbecuing. He most enjoys spending time with his wife Lynda and daughter Emily, mostly in a basketball gym supporting Emily’s team.
A Maryland native, Matt Krimm was born and raised near Fort Meade and has lived in the DC area for over 15 years. As fate would have it, in 1994, Krimm met and joined his now business partner, John Anderson, at Barista Brava in DC. Krimm ran two retail locations while Anderson went to the corporate office to oversee operations and transition into franchising. Then in 1996, Krimm left Barista to move to Arizona, where he ran the morning coffee service at the Arizona Biltmore. Krimm soon after assisted in the opening of the Wildflower Bread Company, now a multi-unit bakery and espresso company with locations throughout Arizona. Returning to DC in 1997, Krimm joined W. Curtis Draper, the oldest full-service tobacconist in the District of Columbia, as a sales associate and eventually became the store manager. Krimm managed all wholesale accounts, growing the division 500% during the course of his tenure. In 2000, Krimm founded the annual Little Puff charity event that has raised over $600,000 for local scholarships in the area. In 2006, Krimm bought W. Curtis Draper with John Anderson and the two eventually expanded with the purchase of Bethesda Tobacco in 2011, renaming it W. Curtis Draper-Bethesda. What was once an idea back in 2006 has now become Civil Cigar Lounge, Krimm and Anderson’s unique retail and lounge concept located in the Chevy Chase Pavilion in Friendship Heights, Washington, DC.
Paul Spence is a native of the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts and found his way to Washington, DC to attend the School of Business at Howard University, majoring in Hotel Restaurant Management. With a strong education and inspired ambition, Spence has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years for international, national and local DC companies. Spence has also had extensive experience in the cigar industry, having achieved Salesman of the Year and other honors during his four-year tenure as Regional Sales Manager of the Mid-Atlantic for CAO International. In 2011, Spence joined the W. Curtis Draper family as managing partner and general manager of the Bethesda, Maryland store. Since his involvement, the Bethesda store has experienced increased sales and a higher level of service and guest satisfaction. Much is due, in part, to Spence’s political action with the Maryland Premium Cigar Retailer’s Association. With his help, the association has been very influential in educating members of the Maryland Legislature on the unique nature of the premium cigar industry and the state’s substantial tax increases on premium cigars. The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) honored Spence with a Step Up Award for his political activities and achievements in Maryland. As partner and general manager of Civil Cigar Lounge, Spence looks forward to setting new standards for service and satisfaction at this new retail and cigar bar and lounge.
Born and raised in Arlington, Virginia, Dave Hammerly is a true local with a deep passion for the history and culture of Washington, DC. Beginning in the early 90s, Hammerly started out in the business as a bartender at the Adams Morgan hotspot Bradshaw’s. Soon after, Hammerly landed every 20-something’s Rock ‘n Roll dream job—joining the staff at the renowned 9:30 Club. In his 22 years at the 9:30 Club, Hammerly wore many hats including security, bartender, and also bar manager. In 2000, Hammerly began working part-time at W. Curtis Draper to satisfy his interest in the world of cigars. He then made the move to Shelly’s Back Room to combine his love for cigars and good whiskey as bar manager in 2010. Now reunited with the Draper boys, Hammerly brings his 25 years of experience to Civil Cigar Lounge as “bar guru” and assistant general manager. With his extensive knowledge of fine spirits and cocktails, Hammerly looks forward to serving an exceptional drink list at the Civil Cigar Lounge with a heavy emphasis on the world’s best whiskies. When not behind the bar, Hammerly releases his creative side as the lead singer of the band King Giant, whose sophomore album was released in January 2012 to enthusiastic reviews.