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An Interview with Jose Padrón

Chairman, Piloto Cigars Inc.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Gina Gershon, Sep/Oct 98

(continued from page 10)

Padrón: I have said this many times. That is one of the things that in Cuba had to be controlled in the early 1940s, when there was a boom in cigars in Cuba. When the boom stopped, how many factories were left standing in Cuba? Only the ones that were true cigar factories, the ones that had brands behind them and control over the quality. That is the same thing that is happening now. Many people have gotten into the cigar business without knowing anything about it. As a result it discredits the good cigars on the market. There has been no control of quality.

CA: Of those 10 factories, how many will remain?

Padrón: I think about four will survive. Maybe some of the smaller ones will survive, but we won't know that for a while.

CA: Do you own land in Nicaragua?

Padrón: I own two farms. One is occupied right now by some vandals; they destroyed the barn about seven years ago. We haven't been able to get that farm back. Hopefully we are going to get it back in the next few months.

CA: But you own it?

Padrón: Yes. And we also own another one that we are producing tobacco on.

CA: How many cigars did Padrón make in 1997?

Padrón: About three and a half million or so.

CA: It's not that big an increase from the old days. But the average price must be higher?

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