Starting with La Gloria Cubana, Michael Giannini has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the best people in the premium cigar business – so which cigars have had the most impact on his nearly 40-year career? Watch Michael count them back to Gary Korb in this Advisor exclusive.
Cigar Interview: Jon Huber
Since your official departure from CAO, walk us through a typical day for you.
I left CAO on December 17. I took 1 week off during the Christmas Holiday to spend with family and just get away from it all. But since then, I’ve been “back in the studio,” so to speak, and we’ve been going at the creative process full steam ahead. A typical day (if there is such a thing) begins at 6:00am when the alarm goes off. I grab a cup of coffee and go for a 30-minute walk through the neighborhood with Laura. Afterwards, she gets ready for her workday and I usually do some sort of workout–either jumping rope or pushups/crunches for another 20-30 minutes. Then I get a shower and get in the office by 9:00.
Since leaving CAO, who have you confided in within the industry, as you’ve made decisions about your future?
That really is a short list of people; they know who they are and I prefer to keep it that way.
What advice have you been given during this interim?
To be honest, there hasn’t really been a whole lot of advice coming my way. I’ve just always maintained that God has a plan for me (for all of us) and that the right opportunity would present itself when it’s supposed to, where it’s supposed to, and how it’s supposed to.
Your time at CAO marked a time of innovation and forward thinking. How will you carry this into your next venture?
I don’t think you can sit down one day and say, “I’m going to be innovative.” I believe innovation comes from within and it’s a result of what’s inside of you and how much it needs to get outside of you; you’re just there to enable the process. It’s kind of like if you have to say that you’re “cool” (a word I abhor, by the way), then you’re probably not.
You’ve known and been friends with Pete Johnson for close to 15 years. Many speculated that you’d partner with Tatuaje. Did you consider it?
Yeah, I met Pete at my first RTDA show in Cincinnati back in 1996, and we’ve been friends since. It’s no secret to Pete or anyone else in the industry that I’m a big fan of what he’s done since he came onto the scene with Tatuaje in 2003. I respect not only what he’s done with Tatuaje, but also that he’s maintained his integrity while doing so. Did I consider working with Tatuaje? Not really. I don’t think there’s anything I could bring to the table there that Pete’s not already capable of doing himself. Would I consider working with Pete, though? That’s an entirely different question.
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To view Part One click here.
To view Part Two click here.
Re-posted by permission.