His father is one of the cigar industry’s legendary master blenders; Avo was his adopted uncle, he knows the cigar business inside and out. He’s also just a really nice guy: Klaas Pieter Kelner, Davidoff Cigars Brand Ambassador, who talks with us about growing up at the heart of the business, the appreciation of a fine cigar, and more
What is the origin of the “Wavell” cigar?
A: Great question. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear “Wavell” are the infamous La Gloria Cubana Wavell cigars. Based on my research, the cigar is named for the famed British Field Marshall, Sir Archibald Percival Wavell. But I also asked Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, who created the La Gloria Wavells, and now manufactures his cigars under the E.P. Carrillo Cigars imprint:
“As far as I know, the cigar was named after the British General. The first time I heard it was Dos Gonzalez Cigars n the early 1980s. Efraim Gonzalez, who owned Dos Gonzalez used the Wavell name, which at that time was popular among the chinchales [small factories] in Miami, but his was the most popular and recognized. At the time he sold them for 80¢ each.”
As an interesting side note, I also came across the following in a 2002 article by David Savona:
As Cubans poured into Miami after the revolution, a cigar culture emerged. In 1961, Simon Camacho opened Miami’s first cigar factory, and later began making Camacho cigars. (The brand is now made by the Eiroa family in Honduras, who purchased the rights to Camacho in 1995, five years after his death.) In 1964, three men opened factories within months of one other in Miami: Padrón, Efraim Gonzalez, who later created the Dos Gonzalez brand, and Juan Sosa, who now works for Arturo Fuente. It would be four more years before Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Sr., a former member of the Cuban senate, would open El Credito Cigars Inc. The tiny shop brought La Gloria Cubanas to the United States, and the brand became Miami’s most famous cigar.