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Written by Gary J. Arzt

Thursday, 17 April 2008

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Tabacalera Perdomo, or Nick’s Cigars, as it was styled when it began, is one of the few companies that started during the boom, and prospered, obviously, delivering what cigar smokers wanted. Nick Perdomo is a very personable guy, who is an accomplished drummer, a collector of fine wrist watches and a devotee of fine clothing and men’s accessories. It goes without saying he is an avid cigar smoker! Currently, his ‘extracurricular’ activities include running for commissioner in his home town of Miami Lakes, FL.

The Perdomo facilities in Esteli, Nicaragua are totally integrated. From the agronomy to the growing, curing and fermenting, blending, rolling and package manufacturing, it’s all done at the companies elaborate facility on “Perdomo Avenue.” I had the opportunity to sit down with Nick and talk about Perdomo cigars; where they’ve been, where they are and where they are going.





Gary: Tell me what you were doing before you entered the cigar business

Nick: I was a proud Air Traffic Controller who served my country in the United States Navy then continued to work for our government in the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller here in Miami.

Have you always been a cigar smoker?

Of Course, since I was pretty young! When your dad is Nick Perdomo, Sr., your uncle is Antonio Perdomo and your grandfather is Silvio Perdomo – you smoke cigars and you got to know everything about them!

Your late father was an important part of your business, Nick. How would you describe his role?Perdomo Edicion de Silvio

I miss my father terribly! He was the finest man I have ever met. I told a customer just yesterday, who was enjoying a cigar with his father, that I would give a million dollars to be able to smoke a cigar with my dad. He was the captain of our ship, our true patriarch. I would never disappoint him or let him down. I am working harder and am more focused than ever!! I will lead this company to even higher levels with God’s guidance. I told this to my father prior to his passing and I know he is still with me every step of the way.

Perdomo is truly a ‘family business.’ A lot of Perdomos work here. Could you name names and tell us what each one does?

My wife, Janine Perdomo is Vice President of Operations. My mother, Mary Perdomo is Office Manager of our Miami offices. My brother, Billy is our South Florida sales representative. Arthur Kemper is Executive Vice President, Jeff Owens is National Sales Manager, and Danny Colon is our director of marketing and graphic artist. The last three friends and associates that I mentioned may not carry the Perdomo name but they are part of my family I assure you, and all three are an important part of our company.

Perdomo has a very extensive range of cigars. Cigar tastes have changed for many smokers, since the mid ‘90s. Have you dropped any lines?

We have streamlined our sizes. We have retired 5 lines to concentrate more on our stronger movers. And yes, since our start we have believed in utilizing rich Cuban seed tobaccos that are not only rich in flavor and complexity but also enjoyable to the palate of cigar smokers. We have always believed that the cigar smoker wants rich but most importantly balanced flavor that is enjoyable.

What Perdomo cigars do you believe cater to, or create, the current taste in cigars?

Gary, I believe all of them do. When everyone was using Indonesian or light Connecticut shade wrappers we were using heavy Sumatra seed Ecuadorian wrappers and dark broadleaf wrappers. We always utilized rich Cuban seed tobaccos when most were using thin light tobaccos. We were different and that is why people either really enjoyed our cigars from our start or they soon gravitated toward them. The smokers want rich, smooth and balanced flavor. Thankfully today Perdomo cigars are a staple in people’s humidors worldwide. We also take the customers input very seriously. I personally answer hundreds of emails sent to me daily, as quickly as I can. I really enjoy visiting with the consumers and talking to them in person or on email. Also we try to satisfy the many tastes people have today and what they may graduate to in the future.

I know you manufacture all your own boxes, and many of them are rather elaborate – the Edición Silvo comes to mind. Who designs the packaging for Perdomo cigars and when does conceptualization of the cigar packaging begin?

We all do as a team. We all work together and we are having a lot of fun doing it. Past employees who only knew the word “I” thankfully are no longer here and I am blessed with having such an awesome team. From the head of our box manufacturing plant, to our production manager and to our great staff here in United States. I believe our very best ideas have come within the last two years. I would like to thank our vice president Arthur Kemper, Danny Colon and Jeff Owens for their great packaging ideas and most importantly their execution to get our products out to the market correctly from the start. Since Arthur Kemper has taken over our packaging we have gotten considerably better and the improvement is unprecedented. Perdomo Habano Maduro

Thank you for noticing all of our hard work on this important aspect.

How has the company changed since its inception?

Quality and more quality! And proudly we have improved yearly by leaps and bounds. Our beginnings were small and very humble, I am so proud how hard we worked together to grow our company. We are making the very best cigars of our lives right now. We have been blessed by our customer base spreading the word worldwide on Perdomo Cigars.

What with all the talk about recession, economic slow down, how have you found the first quarter of 2008 to be?

I see no slow down in our business. We have opened up over 280 new accounts within the last year!! As a matter of fact, 2007 was our greatest year ever. Our first quarter of 2008 has been the best in Perdomo’s history so we have a lot to be thankful for to say the very least.

Because of the constantly more hostile environment, vis-à-vis laws that inhibit smoking; what is your longer term outlook for the premium cigar industry?

Positive because I never give up, I remain optimistic not only because of my strong faith in God but from also from my faith in my fellow cigar smoker. I will fight with everything I have to keep up my father’s legacy and to protect our fellow cigar smokers and their rights.

Perdomo Habano ConnecticutYour “HABANO” has been talked about as being comparable to the best of Nicaraguan cigars. What makes it such a special smoke?

Thank you, the Perdomo Habano sales have been simply amazing!! I believe what makes this cigar so special for one is its fantastic price point. You get a real bang for your buck. It also distinguishes itself by its ample ring gauges that provide an exceptional blend of three different Cuban seed filler tobaccos from the Esteli, Condega and Jalapa valleys in the most fertile and richest soils in all of Nicaragua.

By blending these fine cigars using truly special tobaccos from these different regions, we have created a unique smoking experience where you enjoy the complexity of the full-flavored tobaccos from Esteli, the aromatic tobaccos from Condega, and the naturally sweet tobaccos from the Jalapa Valley. The combination is simply superb and the retailers and customers are telling our salesmen in the field and our home office how much they love the cigars.

We are so happy with the response. The Perdomo Habano just received the highest score in Smoke magazine, two 90’s in Cigar Insider and in the newest Cigar Aficionado it just received a 90. We have had a very tough time keeping them in stock. It now comes in three wrappers. A Connecticut shade wrapper and two Cuban seed sun grown wrappers - The Corojo and the Maduro. I truly love them all. And again since we don’t spend much on advertising in magazines, we would like to thank our retailers and the cigar smoker for telling and recommending the Perdomo Habano to others. Our advertising has been with the direct consumer.

Do you have other cigars ‘in development’ at this time?

Yes, we have two new lines that are coming out shortly. We are very excited about both of them. They are very dear to our hearts. One will be in remembrance of my father Nick Perdomo Sr. We also will be bringing back one of our oldest brands. Customers have sent us thousands of letters and emails on this brand. I told you that we listen to the smoking public and so we brought it back by popular demand. In hindsight I should have never retired the brand. They both will be out by the early summer. That’s about as much as I can tell you. We are so proud of these new brands and we have been working on them for over two years!! I truly believe the cigar smokers are going to fall in love with both of these special cigars.Perdomo Lot 23

With the ongoing passage of anti-smoking legislation at various jurisdictional levels, how do you see the future of the industry?

Again I remain positive. I am a board member of the Cigar Association of America. We fight these awful taxes in different states daily. The smoking bans are also out of control. But we must truly band together more to see that these ridiculous proposed laws do not pass.

Do you see further consolidation in the cigar industry?

Of course I do. With the Euro compared to our dollar I am happy and proud today to say that Tabacalera Perdomo is doing outstanding and we would like to thank all of you for helping make our dream come true.

Nick, thank you for the opportunity to catch up on a little bit of your history and your future. It’s always a pleasure.

Thank you so much Gary for the interview and letting me speak to your audience.

Check out the Perdomo Cigars Website

Here are links to buy the cigars mentioned here:

Perdomo Edicion De Silvio
Perdomo Estate Vintage 1991
Perdomo Habano
Perdomo La Tradicion Reserve
Perdomo La Tradicion Reserve (Pre 2003)
Perdomo Lot 23




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