While the name Garcia is found on many cigars, there is only one Don Pepin Garcia – and at My Father Cigars, these Garcias have made it their family business to turn out some of the highest rated Nicaraguan handmades on the humidor shelf. Executive Editor Gary Korb snagged some time with Janny Garcia, Pepin’s daughter and EVP of My Father, to talk shop – and working with family.
What were you doing, if anything, before you went to work for your father, and what made you decide to go into the business?
JG: I have always been involved with my father’s business.
What are your main responsibilities at your father’s company?
JG: My title with the company is Executive Vice President. I am in charge of all of the operations with the exception of making the cigars. We’ll leave that to Pepin and Jaime.
What is the most stressful thing, and the best thing about working with your father?
JG: Everything ;)) He demands and expects more from me because I am his daughter. By the same token, it has made me the person that I am today, a strong and independent woman.
What do you think your company does better than your competitors?
JG: I would tell you but then I have to kill you ;)) lol. No seriously, Pepin was considered the best cigar maker in Cuba from 1973 when he won his first National Competition until he left the island in 2001. He was awarded many times for the innovations that he created to better production and increase profitability. Those innovations, the fact that we grow most of the tobacco that we use and the types of Cuban seeds that we are growing is what separates us from our competitors. Most importantly, the years of experience, passion and the commitment that he has to the consumers is what separates us from our competition.
Do you have a particular favorite among the cigars you make?
JG: I would have to say, the My Father. It uses an Ecuadorian Criollo wrapper from Oliva Tobacco Co. which is a very noble wrapper. In my humble opinion, it’s a flavor bomb. It’s a filet mignon without any of the baggage.
What has surprised you most about working in the cigar business?
JG: How wonderful people are. It’s such a beautiful industry. There is nothing more beautiful than to walk into any cigar lounge in the world and see that there are no class or race differences. There is a brotherhood amongst the cigar smokers that you don’t find anywhere else.
What do you think the future holds for the cigar industry?
JG: The future looks very good. I know that we keep getting bombarded on a daily basis, but with the help of the CRA and the awareness of the consumer, we should be able to overcome all of these attacks that arise on a daily basis.
What do you like to do most for fun on your off-time?
JG: I love to catch up on my beauty sleep. (Shopping is in my top 3.)