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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 5)

Carrillo: We have some experienced rollers, but most have been people trained by us. We started that back in November 1995 and we trained over 180 people in our shop.

CA: Are there more men or women rollers?

Carrillo: It's half and half.

CA: Do you find that a woman roller is more gifted than a man roller, or vice versa? Or are they about the same?

Carrillo: In the Dominican Republic I find that the men are more gifted, especially in the bunching of the cigars. The women, however, are equal, or in some cases, better in the rolling.

CA: Do they take an equal amount of time to train, whether it's a man or a woman?

Carrillo: It's the same amount of time.

CA: How long does it take to bring someone off the street and sit him down at a training table with an instructor before he's able to roll cigars with the La Gloria Cubana brand name?

Carrillo: First of all, we send them to a program in the Dominican Republic run by Infotec, a government agency that provides job training; we support it with a payroll tax. They receive 220 hours of instruction. They just show them the basics. When they come work for us, after about two or three months, we put them up in the tobacco room to grade tobacco and to work all over the plant. We don't just sit them down right away. After about usually three weeks, we sit them at a table and they start making cigars. They might do 10, 20 cigars, 25, 50 cigars a day.

CA: Do those cigars then go into bundles?

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