Written by Gary J. Arzt

Monday, 02 February 2009

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There's a pet shelter in Miami that is doing a fund raiser in late February. Many of you, I am sure, will wonder why I mention it. Rest assured it is totally appropriate that I mention it, inasmuch as I know a wonderful bulldog, Dribbles, by name, who is an avid smoker! Give the web site ( a look and help them out if you can. The amount doesn't matter.

It's worth noting that Ernesto Perez Carrillo will leave General Cigar, who purchased his El Credito Cigar Company (makers of, among other fine smokes, La Gloria Cubana) in 1999, in March. Ernie will be doing his encore performance in a newly formed company that he will start with his children.

If I get lucky, I hope to bring you one of his first interviews since that fact has become public knowledge.

In a couple of weeks, I'll be off to Santiago, DR for the ProCigar Festival09. If the event is anything like the first Festival, last year, it will be superb However; I know that everyone at ProCigar has been working to make this year's event much more exciting. And, I am sure they will succeed.

Perhaps I'll get the opportunity to set the interview up with Ernie when I see him in Santiago. Of course, I have already contacted him about it.

Patrick Vivalo, formerly of Rocky Patel and lately, National Sales Manager of United Tobacco (601, Cubao, Mi Barrio Limited Editions) has joined Esteban Carreras as their new Vice President of Sales. Patrick's departure from United, regretted by all his associates, was the result of the changes in United's structure due to the distribution deal with Miami Cigar & Company. In the classic British sense, he became redundant.

We'll still be seeing Patrick around at in-store events.

Knowing how much he loved 601s and Cubaos; I'm curious what he'll be smoking at home!

I had lunch the other day at Espinosa y Ortega, with Ruly Cruz and Alan Kaye. As is our habit, we enjoy a cigar after lunch. Alan insisted I smoke an EO 21 - in spite of the fact that I don't smoke Connecticut wrapper cigars; and I don't smoke bundle cigars. The cigars, in four (4) sizes are a blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran and some Panamanian ligero, topped off with a beautiful Ecuador Connecticut wrapper. Well, I have to tell you I was surprised and impressed. If you enjoy a good bundle - EO 21 is for you. If your tobacconist doesn't have them; he can get them for you with a simple call to Alan Kaye at 866.742.5988. Neither you, nor your tobacconist will be disappointed.

One last thing: Jorge Luis Armenteros, CMT, proprietor of A Little Taste of Cuba, in Princeton, NJ, and founder of Tobacconist University, has a new cause and has launched a new effort - the passage of The Tobacconist Preservation Act. Go online to and sign the petition so that this vital piece of proposed Federal legislation can reach the Congress. When you read the information on the web site, you'll understand the purpose and recognize the importance of it.

"Tobacco is a plant that converts thoughts into dreams" Victor Hugo




0 # What a GuyJose Blanco 2009-02-02 21:54
;-) Wish the industry would have more people like Gary, guess some people have other opinions, but he calls them the way he sees them, keep going Gary.:D

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