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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 4)

CA: Did you have a problem getting out of Cuba?

Padrón: Yes, I actually had a lot of trouble but I was able to get out and go to Spain.

CA: What happened after that?

Padrón: I went from Cuba to Spain and then came to America, first to New York, where I ironed clothes for two months in a dry cleaner.

CA: And then you went to Miami. Why Miami?

Padrón: I hated the cold weather. [laughter]

CA: How did you get into the cigar business in Miami? When did the Padrón cigar actually begin?

Padrón: I started it in 1964 when I came to the U.S. I got the idea that I could make a cigar; although it would not be exactly like the Cuban cigar, it would be similar. I wanted to provide the smokers in Miami with cigars similar to what they were used to smoking. I began with 200 cigars a day with one roller.

CA: Is that the same place where you are now?

Padrón: No. I just had one roller.

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