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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 21)

Carrillo: I'm not exactly sure when, but I know when he came here, he registered it and he had no problem.

CA: When did you enter your father's business?

Carrillo: I entered it in about 1968, '69. At that time, it was just mostly a part-time job.

CA: What were you doing?

Carrillo: I was at school. When I was 19 I got married. Then I started playing music; I wanted to become a drummer. And I still worked with him part-time also. Now, as time went by, I started getting more and more into the business, learning whatever I could from it and from the people that worked there. In 1980, unfortunately, my father passed away. I took over the estate and started going to the RTDA [Retail Tobacco Dealers of America] shows. I started trying to build the business up.

CA: When you took over the business in 1980, how many cigars was El Credito making?

Carrillo: That year we made 850,000.

CA: And what kind of cigars were they?

Carrillo: Well, they were the typical Miami cigar. They were a blend of Dominican, Brazilian, some Honduran tobacco and Ecuadorian wrappers. They were a milder cigar than the La Gloria is now. For about five or six years after my father passed away, I went through a lot of hard times because the demand wasn't really there. We were working with very little capital.

CA: How did you earn your capital?

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