Erik Espinosa: First Generation Cigar Maker, Industry Young Gun
Written by Frank T Flores III

Friday, 17 April 2009

User Rating: / 52

erik espinosaprofiles
rolling and growing


Frank: Anything you and Eddie are working on that we can talk about?


Erik: We are working on some for the trade show, but its still virgin. When we get deeper into it, we will let you know.


Frank: Between going to the fields, the factories, blending cigars, or going to events and meeting the smokers, which is your favorite part of the job?


Erik: My favorite part is talking cigars. It’s sitting down and having a conversation with anybody who enjoys smoking cigars as much as I do. Most people that enjoy cigars are profession als; whether they are constructions workers, doctors, lawyers, or garbage truck drivers, it doesn’t matter. It’s a great topic of conversation, and I enjoy sitting down and talking about cigars more than anything.


Frank: So, I know you wanted to talk baseball. Did you play baseball?


Erik: I got a scholarship to play baseball, but I only played through high school. Then I started working and stopped playing.


Frank: So the hot topic of the day is steroids and A-Rod. Tell me how you feel about these topics.


Erik: Now, you know I have a passion: my passions are poker, cigars, and baseball. I just feel that the owners are at fault on what is going on in baseball. Everybody knew that McGwire and Sosa were taking steroids and did nothing about it because it was saving baseball. Now all of a sudden it’s a problem. I think they should have given every player ample opportunity to stop doing it. I just think it was banned at this time, and they should have the opportunity to stop. If not, they would be fined or ejected from the game, but they didn’t give them that ample opportunity. Steve McNair was 4 yards away from winning the Super Bowl, and he wasn’t invited to training camp for two years. You know, as you get older, you start deteriorating, but you still have to provide for your family. Now a guy who gave his heart and soul for the team is no longer welcomed. It’s the same thing with Earl Campbell. He used to run the ball 30 times a game with the Houston Oilers, and they used to juice him up with Novocain. Now Earl Campbell is in a wheelchair. Why does nobody talk about it? You know the owners injected Novocain in his knees, and it was ok at the time? They ruined this man’s life and no one talks about that, but they do talk about the baseball players now. They said there was 103 guys on the list, but they chose to pick on A-Rod. What happened to the other 100 players? You still have to hit the ball, ok? Am I for steroids? Absolutely not! Is steroids cheating? Perhaps, yes. Ok, but you still have to hit the ball. Barry Bonds was an incredible player before steroids. He saw himself getting older. You know they need to do something to stay in the game; if they don’t get better they are out of the game. But they still need to provide for their families. If nobody takes steroids, we are all in the same boat. But if you got 30 to 40% of the players taking them, then we are not on the same playing field. People have to do what they have to do to keep providing for their family. If you make $20 an hour you spend $21. If you make a million a year, then you spend a million and one. They paid their dues, they deserve to get paid. If no one paid an athlete a million dollars then no athlete would ask for a million dollars. Why don’t they go after the owners? Why don’t they go after the trainers? They don’t care, they just want to fill the seats. When McGwire and Sosa where doing it, they didn’t care because it was saving baseball. Now steroids is a problem. It’s a problem because the government got involved. If they take the players to trial, I think they should take some of the owners as well. I’m pretty sure they know what is going on. The owners knew they where doing it and would turn their faces. Now the players are the only ones getting in trouble. Now that’s not fair.


Frank: Has this turned you off from baseball?


Erik: A little, yes. I just feel like they should just let them play. I feel like they should just let them play, and I don’t think the government should get involved. With everything going on in society today, why are they only getting involved in baseball? Why don’t they try to fix the economy?


Frank: Like the government getting involved by taxing tobacco for heath care.


Erik: They go after us with all these taxes for heath care. Why aren’t the Burger Kings and the Mc Donald’s of the world that are getting our kids sick, why aren’t they going after that? Why aren't they going after Coke and Pepsi? Why don’t we all help out? Why just tobacco? I don’t mind giving something to heath care, you know, but why does it all have to be us? It should be a joint thing; everybody should be involved. I just feel like we are an easy target; we are an minority and that is why they are going after us. I have yet to see anybody killing anybody under the influence of a cigar. So why just going after tobacco? Why not go after alcohol?


Frank: I agree with you, as I’m sure 100% of all cigar smokers do. It’s crazy the way they are treating the industry.


Erik: I’m not a doctor, but they say that stress is a main cause of cancer. A cigar, to me, is my number one stress reliever. We don’t bother nobody. All we want is a little place to enjoy our cigars and have a conversation on everything in life, what is going on. And they want to prevent us from doing that also.




0 # Mi Barrio, 601 and Cubao are, for me, amoung the best cigars out there.Ana and Miguel 2009-04-27 09:29
Love the whole interview plus the cigars from United tobacco and Erick and Eddie. Keep going guys putting a Yough Flavor to the industry. I also love your poster....

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0 # Well said!Stephen Parks 2009-09-13 06:38
Great interview and you touched on something I've been saying throughout the SCHIP pursecution, to fellow cigar smokers AND politicians.

I wasn't against SCHIP, at least not the cause which would supposedly benefit from the tax. But, with such an important cause, why should cigar smokers carry the brunt of the burden. With such a worthy cause, why shouldn't much more funds be raised and shared among some of the industries that actually contribute to the problem?

A smaller tax spread out among the fast food and high fructose beverage industries would have made much more sense. These are industries that are not only contributing to the health problems in children, but they are also allowed to specifically target a child audience with packaging and advertising. When's the last time you saw fine, hand-rolled cigars target a child audience?

Yet another stupendous act against our freedoms that we have allowed are government to infringe upon.

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0 # Great Article= 2009-12-18 02:37
I really enjoyed Eric's views and opinions! there's nothing like a man who
speaks his mind!This article also gave me a greater level of respect for
Jose Pepin!

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0 # I congratulateJoswar 2012-05-29 22:31
Congratulations on your success Erik. Tobacco Jewel of Estelí

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