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Mariana and Nestor Miranda, Miami Cigar & Co.

In seven years, Mariana and Nestor Miranda have turned Miami Cigar & Co. into a force in cigar distribution.

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So what's in store for Miami Cigar? The Mirandas' conservative estimate for total distribution in 1996 is 9 million cigars. They hope to have a signature cigar, created by the makers of León Jimenes, in the future, and intend to distribute a robusto cigar from La Aurora and a torpedo from León Jimenes. They also plan on redesigning their labels.

Other plans include a men's cologne, made by Franck Olivier in Paris, which they planned to introduce at the August 1996 RTDA convention in Cincinnati. The smoked-glass bottle is shaped like a pocket cigar case, and has been well received in marketing tests. But cigars remain the top priority.

I like to smoke a variety of cigars that we represent to know the quality, because I am like the quality controller of Miami Cigar & Co., Nestor says. When I find something that I don't like too much, that doesn't mean that the cigar is bad, it just means that it needs a certain improvement. I communicate that to my importer. It is like every one is my kid and I love every one of them. Like a good mother and father, we take care of our kids.

A mom-and-pop shop indeed.

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