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An Interview with Ernesto Padilla

A conversation with Ernesto Padilla, owner of Miami's Padilla Cigar Co.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Armand Assante, Mar/Apr 2008

(continued from page 2)

A: I was six. I landed here, I remember someone gave me my first chocolate bar...

Q: You had your first chocolate bar in America?

A: Yeah.

Q: What are your memories of Cuba? It was only six years...

A: We'd go to the country every once in a while, see the horse, tobacco in the barns. I just remember being a kid, being excited to get my Russian toys. What I remember the most is the excitement of leaving. I didn't know I wasn't going to see this country [again] for the rest of my life.

Q: What was it like living without your dad?

A: It was not even a year. My mom was petitioning, talking to different people, senators, prime ministers. Then when he came, Sen. [Ted] Kennedy was there, news crews were there.

Q: And your father always had a cigar?

A: That thing never seemed to leave his mouth. [He lights up a second cigar, a Padilla Miami.]

Q: Let's talk about creating the Padilla cigar brands. When did you get started?

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