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An Interview with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo

Owner, El Credito Cigar Co., makers of La Gloria Cubana, La Hoja Selecta, El Rico Habano and Dos Gonzales cigars.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
James Woods, May/Jun 97

(continued from page 15)

Carrillo: In Miami, it is like two to three days. In Miami we don't really have the room to keep the cigars.

CA: What about aging the tobacco before you roll it?

Carrillo: The tobacco that we're going to start using in 1997 is from 1995 because we've been building up inventory for the past year.

CA: How many months of aging will it have?

Carrillo: It will have a minimum of about 12 months.

CA: Are you comfortable with those time frames--the 14 to 21 days after the cigar is made and the 12 months of tobacco aging? Would you like to see it aged longer?

Carrillo: If you can keep it longer, it might improve it. It takes about 15 days after a cigar is made to lose its excess humidity while keeping the humidity that it needs. I feel that after 14 to 21 days, the cigars are in good shape to be smoked. We test constantly to see if that is the right amount of time.

CA: I'm sure you are aware that more and more companies are going public as a way of raising equity capital to expand their businesses. I also guess that investment bankers knock on your door all the time. Do you plan to stay private or do you at some point plan to go public?

Carrillo: Right now, I intend to stay private and the main reason is because I like what I do. I like making my own decisions and not having to answer to anybody. I like being independent and this is one of the main reasons. You know, money, we all need money, but money is not something that really motivates me to work. I need to have this independence where I can do whatever I want to do and not worry about letting everybody know.

CA: Are any members of your family in the business?

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