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Q&A: An Interview With Jorge Padrón

The president of Padrón Cigars Inc. speaks about his Nicaraguan cigar brand.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Gen. Tommy Franks, Nov/Dec 03

(continued from page 12)


Q: You have a number of people here in Nicaragua who have worked for your company for 10, 15, even more years. Is that more of a challenge?

A: No, no, on the contrary. The employee base that we have here is an experienced staff, both in supervisory positions as well as in day-to-day positions. Some of the rollers and bunchers have been with us for 15, 20 years, and they are the most important part of this business. Every single one of our employees has a mentality that they have to make the best products. The fact that they're experienced is something that helps me. We all are on the same page as to what we want to accomplish.


Q: When your father first started making cigars with Nicaraguan tobacco, he said he was smoking the next Cuba, something that reminded him of the H. Upmann No. 4s that he liked to smoke in Cuba. What happens to Padrón Cigars, what do you think you will do, the day there is no longer an embargo against Cuba, and Cuban tobacco and Cuban cigars are allowed to enter the United States freely?

A: There's no question in my mind what we would do. We would not abandon what we've done in Nicaragua. I think we're making products that compete in all aspects of cigars. Quality-wise, I think we're producing excellent products that can compete in any marketplace with any product from any other country, including Cuba. Having said that, though, I can't sit here and say I would ignore the possibility of going in there and having and using tobacco from Cuba, which is something I've talked about extensively with my father.


Q: As a tobacco man, do you find it intriguing, the idea of one day working with Cuban tobacco?

A: Absolutely. I would love to have the opportunity to work with Cuban tobacco that we would grow and process to our specifications, with our attention to detail, proper fertilization of the soil, proper seed selection, and doing it the way we're used to doing it here. As well as to be able to process the tobacco, because that's one of the most important parts of this business.


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