From a life of poverty, Orlin Portillo has made an impressive climb up the job ladder.
Driving past the premises of Tabacalera de García in La Romana, one already senses the grandiose dimensions of the world’s largest cigar factory. An endless sea of mopeds glitters in the Dominican midday sun. Thousands of specialists daily produce a huge amount of cigars. We have the opportunity to meet the man who is responsible for ensuring that the cogwheels of the mega-operation run smoothly and never stop: factory director, Javier Elmudesi.
Do you know this place? You go through a door and find yourself in another world. In a small town in southern Germany, anybody who loves cigars gets this feeling: at Paul Bugge in Schwenningen.
Nick Perdomo Jr. has achieved the American dream par excellence. After 26 years in the cigar business and approaching his midfifites, he manages a company that has more than 4,000 employees, cultivates 1,200 acres of tobacco land and has a production capacity of 80,000 cigars per day.
It was not love at first sight. Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars and Janny García of My Father Cigars had known each other and worked together for many years when they realized they were more than “just” friends and business partners. That was in 2009 … or was it 2010?
Since the death of his father on August 5, 2016, Carlito has been the head of the family. That Fuente is one of the most important cigar families (yearly production approx. 30 million cigars) and produces many of the most coveted cigars in the world is adequately known. But who is this man?
When a man who has spent his working life learning all there is to know about Cuban cigars opens a New-World-cigar business, it’s time to take note.
Mike Choi – who was runner up in Cuba’s prestigious Habanosommelier International Contest and worked at the award-winning Sahakian cigar lounge in London’s Bulgari hotel for several years – is the face behind Boutique Smokes, a new UK business aiming to bring exciting New-World smokes directly to customers.
Bulgari, Tiffany et Al., Cartier, and Louis Vuitton, just to name a few noble boutiques, line the way to our interviewee in Geneva. We meet Jean-Charles Rios, owner of Gestocigars, in Rue Robert-Céard, in the heart of the city on lake Geneva.
With a few tobacco seeds sown into his belt and 50 Dollars that his brother had given him, Angel Oliva took the boat to Tampa. This was going to be the start of a better life, and the Oliva Tobacco Company.
Unlike other family companies in the cigar industry today, the kids of the next generation at My Family aren’t there to take over. Thy were there from the start.
After 15 years of Cigar making, Pete Johnson is writing songs he hasn’t written for a while, and finding his way back to the sense of tobacco tradition and simplicity that was once the foundation of Tatuaje Cigars. He’s also dressing better.
The sky over Belgium is blue, and the day between Brussels, Handzame and Zwevegem is similar to this agreeable sunny, warm weather. I’m visiting Frederik Vandermarliere, CEO of J. Cortès and, for the past three years, owner of the traditional brand Oliva Cigars.