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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 24)

Carrillo: It wasn't hot. I remember the sales on the torpedos. I mean, we'd sell them, but it's nothing like it is right now. Right now they are one of the most popular sizes that we sell.

CA: And that started after your Wavell got a 90 in Cigar Aficionado?

Carrillo: Completely. The day that the magazine article came out, we were at the RTDA [convention]. To be frank, when I used to go to those RTDA shows, if I sold 600 cigars, I'd be happy. I remember the times we'd go to RTDA and come back with orders for 400, 500 cigars. When we got rated in that issue, we got orders in one day for 26,000 cigars. In one day. Then, the phone calls into Miami were tremendous.

CA: People used to tell me they would call you and no one would pick up the phone.

Carrillo: It was impossible. We had to put in an answering service. One time we got like 170 calls a day. Who could answer those calls? It was incredible. And that's really when the brand became known nationally and worldwide.

CA: And, you still don't have someone answer the phone?

Carrillo: I gotta get Americanized.

CA: Isn't it time, then, to have a staff, to have an organization?

Carrillo: [laughs] Yeah, I think so. I think it is time to get something like that.

CA: I gotta believe you're working day and night. And it's impossible; it would seem to me that it would be impossible for one man to do it all himself.

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