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Richard L. DiMeola

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Cigar Corporation
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 14)

CA: Royal Jamaica?

DiMeola: Royal Jamaica is Indonesian.

CA: Te-Amo?

DiMeola: Te-Amo's Mexican.

CA: How long have you been using Indonesian wrapper? You apparently used Cameroon at one time, but you no longer do. Can you explain how the switch occurred?

DiMeola: We were a big user of Cameroon. It was used on Antonio y Cleopatra, but when we converted A&C, which was as big as the whole premium market combined, we began using it on H. Upmann, Montecruz, Royal Jamaica and some others...

CA: Say that again. After A&C, you said you used it on H. Upmann?

DiMeola: H. Upmann. Royal Jamaica. Montecruz. There may have been some others.

CA: Primo del Rey?

DiMeola: Not Primo del Rey. In 1988, George Gershel saw the handwriting on the wall. Even then, he saw that the quality of Cameroon was starting to deteriorate. And also, he had the feeling that maybe the supply would also dwindle. So, in 1988, he started playing with Indonesian wrapper. Up to that point Indonesian wrapper was used primarily in Europe on machine-made cigars--and it still is today. But by 1990, George, in cooperation with the suppliers in Indonesia, felt that we had developed wrapper that was good enough for Antonio y Cleopatra, and so we converted the whole of the A&C brand from Cameroon to Indonesia. Very successfully.

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