An Interview With Manuel Quesada
The head of Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (Matasa), makers of Fonseca, Cubita and other cigars.
(continued from page 3)
Losing one is a tragedy. Losing two is a huge tragedy. Losing all three is just insurmountable. It's just mind-boggling.
Q: Last week, when I was in the Dominican Republic, someone brought up how Julio had helped him in his factory.
A: Oh, Julio was a darling. Sometimes I had to tell him, you know, "Remember, they're competitors." [Laughs]. He would say, "Ah, don't worry, chief, I know what I'm doing."
Q: He called you chief.
A: Yeah, he used to call me chief. Yeah, Julio was a hell of a good man. And my brother…aw, it happens.
Q: How old is your daughter now?
A: She doesn't like for me to tell that, but she's 27.
Q: So the next generation of Quesadas…
A: And my youngest, Patricia, she's still in college, but she's also part-timing in the factory. So she's been able to help a whole lot as well. And Esther, my niece, in the leaf business—she has been running that with me as well.
Q: So you're getting by…
A: It's not easy, David. But unfortunately, it's a fact of life. I can't do anything to change this, so I have to make do.
Photo by Bill Milne
Click here to read the February 1998 issue profile of Manuel Quesada.