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Luxury Cigars Come to SEA

July 1, 2021

What do Winston Churchill, Al Capone, Demi Moore, and Jay-Z have in common? A love of cigars.

Those cigar aficionados are also in the good company of Virgilie Aliu, the CEO and President of Global Concessions Group, LLC (GCG). This woman- and minority-owned Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certified company is opening a retail kiosk at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) this week.

Virgilie Aliu

Located near Gate C2, GCG is a boutique cigar shop with an extensive selection of fine, hand-rolled cigars by 26 brands as well as accessories and humidors.

GCG Cigar

GCG is a reflection of the passions and business expertise of Aliu. She holds an MBA and put her degree to good use as a successful entrepreneur and restauranteur. She is also an ice skater that spent years honing her art as an athlete and now coaches to nurture the creativity and talent of others.

“Cigars are an art and lifestyle,” said Aliu. “Cigars are crafted to be savored, to create experiences and to build connections. This business is a natural passion for me given its synergy with creative expression, much like ice skating.”

Aliu was first introduced to cigar culture at a lounge in her hometown, Miami.

“Cigars take 20 to 90 minutes to smoke, depending on the size, and they are meant be savored. I loved the atmosphere of the cigar lounge where the intention is enjoyment and community. Cigars hold so much history and culture. My intention is to pay homage to that tradition and share a luxury experience with travelers.”

Beyond cigars, GCG curates a collection of watches and cufflinks and wellness products such as CBD topicals and tinctures by Pachamama and healing crystals like bracelets, wands, and candles.

“I understand that health is profoundly individual because of my background as an athlete. Our wellness products offer holistic benefits for travelers that center on mind, body, and spirit. Stop by and our team can walk you through a few products like CBD or crystals that can facilitate healing energies.”

wellness products

GCG first opened at Orlando International Airport in 2018. SEA is the second airport boutique and first West Coast location for the company.

Aliu’s family works in airport construction, which was her initial introduction to the business opportunities within the aviation industry. She began attending the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) conferences, a national, non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing employment and contracting opportunities for women and monitories in the industry. Today, Aliu is ACDBE certified in 13 states.

“It takes much tenacity to operate a small business in an airport environment. From the staffing and hours of operation to navigating security, it is logistically challenging. I am thrilled to be partnering with the Airport Dining and Retail team at SEA to open here. They are amazingly engaged in my opening process to ensure our mutual success. It is really special that SEA has this kiosk program designed to support small businesses.”

Learn about the Port’s support for WMBE Businesses.

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