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Interview: Frank Llaneza of Villazon

A discussion with the president of Villazon & Co., makers of Hoyo de Monterrey and Punch.
Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
John Travolta, Jan/Feb 99

(continued from page 10)

Llaneza: HATSA was formed about 1964. I started it in Danlí.

CA: The original factory was in Danlí, Honduras?

Llaneza: Yes. I started it with a fellow named Enrique Rivera; he was my partner. But he had problems and left, so then I had to take it over. Then I brought people in and I started making a few cigars. We were the only factory there. We started making 10,000, 15,000 cigars a day.

CA: Were you the first cigar factory in Danlí?

Llaneza: No. I think the factory started by Jimmy Corral with Julio Eiroa was the first one. They were partners but they didn't run it for very long. They were not successful at all, and the cigars didn't sell. Then I started. After that, others came along.

CA: Which brands did you start making then?

Llaneza: We were making a lot of Bances, all handmade. And we started making Hoyo de Monterrey and Punch.

CA: What year did you get Hoyo and Punch from Palicio?

Llaneza: It was two or three years after the embargo, about 1965.

CA: Did you ever make Hoyo and Punch in Tampa?

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