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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 7)

Carrillo: In Miami, they average about 40 years old. I don't think you find too many of the older generation making cigars today as was the case when my father was making cigars in 1968.

CA: With the explosion of cigar factories in Miami, have you lost many of your rollers to competitors in the last several years?

Carrillo: We lost a lot of people. At one time, we had about 40 rollers, then we lost about 15 to competitors. Because of the new popularity of cigars, everyone is opening up a cigar factory. The first thing they do is try to look for experienced cigar rollers. And I was one of the most visible ones there, so that's where they went.

CA: I assume that was a problem.

Carrillo: It was a problem until I opened up in the Dominican Republic. It was one of the main reasons I opened the factory there. I saw this coming.

CA: How much time are you spending in the Dominican Republic versus Miami?

Carrillo: I spend about 20 days out of the month.

CA: In the Dominican Republic?

Carrillo: Right.

CA: What was it like to open a factory in the Dominican Republic? Did you have a lot of problems in getting started or did it go smoothly?

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