Richard L. DiMeola
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Cigar Corporation
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96
(continued from page 20)
CA: But the consumer didn't know if he was getting an H. Upmann second?
CA: When did this begin, the bundle business?
DiMeola: We were doing it when I joined the company. Probably at the very beginning of production.
CA: Doing it then and doing it on the scale that it's done today is quite different.
DiMeola: Things have evolved to where [the business] is today. In our case, as I told you earlier, we had a factory there that was half-empty and we wanted to build the production--build the business.
CA: You're talking about the Dominican Republic?
DiMeola: Yes. In our case we wanted to build the production, and as I said, we were throwing the mud against the wall to see what would stick. And one way to build production was to put the company into the bundle business; it served another purpose as well, which was training.
CA: Of your 41 million handmade cigars today, how many are bundles?
DiMeola: Fifteen million that go to smoke shops.
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