Ernie Carillo kept the factory working here in Miami and kept people working. CP - Was Miami your first choice for a new factory?EP – It was always a dream of mine to have control over a certain percentage of the cigars that I have made.
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You can both see the process and sit down to enjoy a cigar at the same time.
Most of the factories down here are small places, very humble.
I would talk to some people at their factories while we were eating lunch, and there were bales of tobacco all around us. Ernie Carrillo (Ernesto Perez-Carrillo) is probably the godfather of exile Cuban Miami made cigars.
I know the Padrons and they are definitely people I respect. I had first heard of Pepin Garcia through a gentlemen names Edwardo Fernandez.
Cigar Press – You’ve been going through a ot of changes lately. Ernesto Padilla – I feel like my company has evolved into addition areas such as manufacturing our own cigars.
When I started I was known for making cigars with El Rey de Los Habanos and Pepin Garcia. A lot of Americans come down who are curious with the Cuban culture and the cigar culture come down to Miami to experience that.
There were other lines and other companies that we had made cigars with as well. The difference with my factory is that it is actually also a lounge.
Owning my own factory in Little Havana Miami is something I’ve always wanted to do. You can have a coffee and a cigar here while you watch Padilla cigars being made.
Miami’s Cuban community has really evolved, and being in Little Havana is a dream come true.