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An Interview with Manuel Quesada

Owner, MATASA, makers of Fonseca, Licenciados, Romeo y Julieta, Jose Benito, Cubita, Royal Dominicana, Credo and Casa Blanca cigars.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Denzel Washington, Jan/Feb 98

(continued from page 8)

Quesada: 500,000.

CA: Royal Dominicana?

Quesada: Royal Dominicana has no numbers, Marvin, because we just can't make it.

CA: In terms of priorities, don't you have a lot of horses here? Where are you going to put your emphasis in the future?

Quesada: At MATASA, I cannot take resources away from Casa Blanca or Licenciados or Romeo y Julieta to put into Fonseca or Cubita, because these are brands that brought me to where I am today. The loyalty that I owe to the owners of those brands is the same I owe to myself. So whatever tobaccos we have ready for these cigars will be split among them. We plan our crops and we plan our warehousing for these brands in particular. The major limiting factor has been mostly the Connecticut-seed wrapper.

CA: Is that the only thing holding you back?

Quesada: Yes, sir.

CA: But haven't plantings expanded in Connecticut and Ecuador, so that there would be more material available?

Quesada: Yes, sir, but when you talk about premium cigars, a lot of the wrappers that you buy do not qualify for that particular level of production.

CA: What happens to that? Binder?

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