Really two stories in one: the Cuban cigar craftsmanship of Don Pepin, and how a boutique cigar company is quickly becoming one of the most influential manufacturers in the tobacco world.
It started with José Pepin Garcia: born in Cuba to a family of tobacco growers and cigar makers, he spent 50 years working inside the operations of some of the largest Cuban cigar makers on the island before emigrating to Nicaragua in 2001. The majority of Pepin's time in Cuba was spent as a master cigar roller, earning the ranking of Category 8 ("Maestro," or Master) and many awards for his torcedor work; legend has it Don Pepin once rolled 320 Churchills in four hours, as part of a competition.That skill offered Garcia the opportunity to become a teacher of the rolling of cigars, as well as a blender, working on the formulas for Cuban Cohiba cigars, Partagas and Montecristo.
Don Pepin left Cuba for Nicaragua in 2001, but quickly ended up in Miami's Little Havana where he established the El Rey de los Habanos cigar factory. Though an unknown outside the communist island, Garcia's Calle Ocho factory and its dozen Maaestro torcedores quickly became a hub of the boutique cigar world, producing many distinguished, popular and highly-rated brands under his name, as well as for other companies. It was here in Miami that the world was introduced to that signature Pepin blend of pepper and spice, making for punchy, medium to full bodied cigars across the board. That was no accident - Don Pepin Garcia has often stated his goal was to replicate the Habano cigar profile, but do it without using any Cuban tobacco at all...and it was his brief stay in Nicaragua that sealed the deal, as his use of Nicaraguan tobaccos proved it could deliver a Cuban-like flavor.
Demand would spark growth - and that meant an expansion for Garcia, both in his production capabilities and his family's involvement with the cigar business. Pepin's son Jaime Garcia has been instrumental in the blending of many My Father cigar lines, as well as working by Pepin Garcia's side to make the Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ cigar. His daughter, Janny Garcia, is involved on the business end at the company's headquarters - as well as serving as the inspiration for My Father La Duena cigars, a medium-bodied Nicaraguan cigar blended to Janny's liking by her brother Jaime and Tatuaje's Pete Johnson. The My Father Cigar factory was established in Esteli in 2009, allowing Jose and Jaime Garcia's 300 rollers to produce the dozen Don Pepin and My Father brands, including the 2012 Cigar of the Year, Flor de Las Antillas - plus continuing to make smokes for other brands in the industry, including Tatuaje, Ashton and a good number more of the cigars online at Famous Smoke Shop.
Don Pepin Garcia cigars, as well as all of the My Father cigars made at his factories are meticulously handcrafted in the Cuban cigar style and share that patented Pepin Garcia signature: robust, spicy and peppery, yet flavorful, well-constructed and finished with a traditional triple cap. If that's what you're looking for in a premium smoke, buy My Father cigars online at Famous Smoke shop today!