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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 8)

A: Close to 500,000.

 

Q: I think a lot of people reading this will be surprised to hear you make so few Anniversaries, and say. "Why can't you just pump out more?"

A: If it were only that easy. You've been here for a couple of days now in the factory; you've seen everything that's going on: how many people it takes to produce a single cigar, how many hands touch that tobacco, the processing, the space, the sorting and deveining. There's a lot of added steps or work that has to be done in order to get to the final product. So it's difficult to increase at one end without increasing at the other ends as well. I would say it's more like a support system; the support system has to grow as much as you want your production to grow.

 

Q: Can you plant more tobacco?

A: Sure, you can always plant more tobacco, but the problem is you're going to need more space, you're going to need more people to sort, you'll need more people to process and ferment; you just need a lot of things to happen in order to get the most out of that extra tobacco.

 

Q: Do you think your company will ever make a cigar that's in the top 10 in terms of sales in the U.S. market?

A: I haven't even thought about that. I don't want to be in the top 10—I want to be No. 1 in quality. High sales don't necessarily mean high quality. For us, sales are not the goal. It's quality.


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