The ceremony was hosted by the Cigar Journal’s Chief Editors Reinhold Widmayer and Colin Ganley. After awarding 16 awards for categories such as best brand, best cigar, etc. there was only one crystal chaveta left. After a short introduction Widmayer announced Carlos Toraño Sr. as the lifetime achievement award winner. Too much applause, Carlos Toraño Sr. walked on stage and graciously accepted the award from Widmayer. Carlos Toraño’s first words were that he was humbled to receive such an honor. After a short speech he walked off stage to pose for pictures with his son and current president of Toraño Family Cigars Co. Charlie Toraño. Charlie was heard whispering in his father’s ear, “Congratulations, you deserve this dad”.
On winning the award Carlos Toraño Sr. stated, “I am truly honored to receive this award from Cigar Journal Magazine. This industry has been very special to my family and I, and we look forward to continuing the Toraño tradition for years to come.”
Founded in 1916 by Santiago Toraño, the Toraño Family Cigar Company is recognized as one of the oldest tobacco families in the cigar industry. Carlos Toraño, at the age of 16 was part of the nationalization of Cuba in 1959, where his family’s tobacco fields were taken away and were forced to leave the island. The family however continued to seek out the finest quality tobaccos from many countries around the world. After being educated in the United States, Carlos Toraño Sr. joined the family business and followed in his father’s footsteps by continuing the tradition and legacy of his grandfather in buying and distributing tobacco. In 1997, the family owned and operated its first factory.
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