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An Interview with Oscar Boruchin

Owner of Licenciados and 8-9-8 Collection cigars.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Wayne Gretzky, Mar/Apr 97

(continued from page 10)

CA: Did he want you to come work there, or to buy it?

Boruchin: He gave me 33 percent of the company to start. That still made me an employee, because the other 67 percent was owned by him and his brother. But my relationship with Mike, even when he was my customer, was very special. It was sort of a father and son relationship, and through the years has developed into a very strong relationship. So, in 1981 I started at Mike's.

CA: When you left General Cigar and went back into the retail business, were there any problems because you left or did they accept it?

Boruchin: I don't think they totally accepted it. But the friendship was always there. My immediate boss at that time was David Berg. David and I had an excellent relationship. Now, Mike was also one of General's biggest customers. He had an agreement with Morton Annis, even before General acquired Gradiaz Anniz, where Mike got all the seconds. So Mike was a big customer. But it was like General got an employee for free in me. My pride was the introduction of Macanudo, and I felt very responsible for it even though I was working at Mike's now.

CA: When did you buy the entire operation?

Boruchin: In 1985, I bought the whole company.

CA: When you started in 1981, what were the total sales?

Boruchin: Less than $2 million a year.

CA: What were the sales in 1985?

Boruchin: In '85 we grew the business to about $4 million.

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