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An Interview with Carlos Fuente Sr.

A discussion with the head of Arturo Fuente Inc., one of the world's largest producers of premium hand-rolled cigars.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Jack Nicholson, Summer 95

(continued from page 11)

C.A.: How many will you be releasing this summer into the marketplace?

Fuente: I think that's very hard to say. We haven't sat down and figured it out yet.

C.A.: But do you know how many cigars you are going to release?

Fuente: Oh, yeah. We'll probably release about 50,000 cigars.

C.A.: The dramatic change in the market for premium cigars apparently has placed pressure on the most successful producers, and in fact, many of them can't supply demand. How large are your back orders?

Fuente: We are concerned because we want to be able to provide the market with what we really want to provide. But our main goal is not to release cigars until we feel that it's right. I'd have to sit down and figure back orders. What we are doing is making cigars and shipping cigars. We are running five, six months behind, and we still have orders that we haven't filled. I think if you sit down and do the back orders, it runs over 4 or 5 million.

C.A.: You have over 4 or 5 million back orders?

Fuente: If you figured it. I haven't done that because nobody gets what they order. We're shipping a third of what the retailers order and, in many cases, not even that. We had a customer yesterday who was telling me that for three months they haven't received some sizes of cigars. And it's not that we're not making them.

C.A.: In 1994, what was your total production of cigars?

Fuente: What we manufactured or what we shipped?

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