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An Interview With Manuel Quesada

The head of Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (Matasa), makers of Fonseca, Cubita and other cigars.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Alec Baldwin, May/June 2004

(continued from page 2)

people as the free zone has.

Q: And when it opened?

A: When we started the factory, there may have been a couple hundred people working.

Q: How many rollers did you have at the beginning?

A: Three. We started by trying to hire some people, but they had all kinds of ideas. They thought that they were worth more than they were really worth. So we decided to train. And we started teaching people with a Cuban guy that we had brought in from Miami. Espinosa was his name. And he was in charge of teaching the cigarmakers. I would case and strip and prepare the leaf and do everything for him.

Q: I guess there wasn't a lot of tobacco for you to get ready for just three rollers.

A: Yeah, so I would do all of that, and he would take care of making the cigars.

Q: What brands did you begin with?

A: Ah, we had Sosa and Fonseca.

Q: How many cigars did you make in the first year?

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