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Q&A: An Interview With Jorge Padrón

The president of Padrón Cigars Inc. speaks about his Nicaraguan cigar brand.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Gen. Tommy Franks, Nov/Dec 03

(continued from page 1)

A: Yes, that was in the old factory. We had the apartment right upstairs, right on top of the factory; we would go down the stairs and the factory was right there. I was running around the factory, in the pilones [editor's note: bulks of fermenting tobacco.]

Q: When did your family's company start making cigars here in Nicaragua?

A: 1970. Before that, we made cigars in Miami. In 1977, because
of the problems [with political unrest] in Nicaragua, my father opened up a factory in Honduras. For several years, both factories were operating side by side. In the '80s, during the civil war, I never came to Nicaragua, but I did go to Honduras on many occasions. Then in 1985, [President Ronald] Reagan placed the embargo on Nicaragua, and at that point we shifted all our production to Honduras. For five years there, all the production we had came out of Honduras.

Q: Was that difficult? It's a small factory, isn't it?

A: Yes, it was very difficult, but at the time we were taking advantage of every possible space in that factory. That factory was full. We had a lot of tobacco and raw material that we were able to salvage in years earlier, and that's what really helped us get along and get through. It wasn't until 1990 that we actually came back to Nicaragua for the first time and started the factory again.

Q: Wasn't your father living at the Honduran factory at that time?

A: He was living inside the factory. We both—when I was there—lived inside the factory. As we did for many years in Nicaragua.

Q: How were the accommodations?

A: Let's just say it was one room.

Q: One room for you and your father?

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