Perdomo (cigar brand)
Perdomo is a brand of cigars primarily grown and produced in Nicaragua and sold worldwide by Tabacalera Perdomo. The company, launched and headed by third generation cigarmaker Nick Perdomo, Jr. in 1992, is based today in Miami Lakes, Florida.
Today's Tabacalera Perdomo traces its roots to the town of San Jose de las Lajas, Cuba, about 17 miles (27 km.) southeast of Havana, where company patriarch Silvio Perdomo was raised. Perdomo went into the cigar industry as a young man, serving his apprenticeship for Cuesta y Cia in the early 1930s. Silvio left that company's employ in 1937 to go to work for H. Upmann, where he remained until 1945. In 1945, Silvio Perdomo left H. Upmann to go to work in a managerial position at Partagas, where he stayed until 1959.
Silvio Perdomo's son, Nicholas Perdomo Sr., followed his father into the cigar making trade, beginning his apprenticeship in 1948 for Marin & Trujillo. Following the completion of his apprenticeship, Nick Senior joined his father as an executive at Partagas. He eventually went to work as a top executive at the H. Upmann factory, the largest cigar manufacturing facility in Cuba.
Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Silvio Perdomo was arrested by revolutionaries and imprisoned at the Isla de los Pinos prison, where he was held in harsh conditions for three years. He was then transferred to captivity at the La Cabana fortress overlooking Habana Bay. He spent the next 12 years in prison at La Cabana and four other facilities as an enemy of the revolution of Fidel Castro. Silvio was finally allowed to emigrate to the United States in 1974.
Nick Senior was also targeted by revolutionaries. He later recalled "The political views of my family and I were very anti-communist, and President Fulgencio Batista used to visit the factories frequently. Batista didn't smoke cigars but, because it's one of Cuba's main exports, he was very interested in what my father and I were doing with the different cigar shapes and styles we were experimenting with." Nick Senior fought as a guerrilla against the communist forces during the revolution. He was shot twice in a fire fight and later removed from the hospital on a gurney to escape summary execution.
After recovering through the aid of a friend, Nick Senior emigrated to the United States via the Uruguayan Embassy with the help of a sponsorship of the Catholic Church. Nick Senior settled in Washington, DC, his connection with the cigar manufacturing industry severed. Alone in Washington, DC, he began his life as an immigrant to American working as a janitor in a mental institution for $11 per week, eventually rising to become one of the biggest general contractors in the state of Florida.
In 1976, Nick Perdomo Sr. and his family, including son Nicholas Perdomo Jr., moved from the city in which they had lived, Washington, DC, to Miami, Florida so that they could be closer to relatives there. Nick Junior attended school in Miami before joining the U.S. Navy, in which he served as an air traffic controller. Following completion of his military stint, Nick Junior gained employment in the same field at Miami International Airport.
Nick Junor determined to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a cigarmaker, although all he knew about the product firsthand was smoking them. In August 1992 he launched a home business in his garage, the humble beginnings of today's Tobacalera Perdomo. The new company in Miami was named "Nick's Cigar Co."
Nick Junior initially retained his well paying job as an air traffic controller and worked at his startup cigar brand in the evenings. In its initial phase the tiny company employed just three rollers, with Nick Junior and his wife Janine working as packers. Perdomo chose to buck the prevailing trend in the cigar industry, which was skewing towards mild cigars, by making a full-bodied product using wrappers from Ecuador and fillers from Central America. This decision proved to be a sage one, as the flood of new cigar smokers of the 1990s predictably came to develop a taste for a spicier product.
In his first year, "Nick's Cigars" produced and sold just 9,400 cigars, but the business expanded rapidly. By 1997 he had reached the limits of production at his small Miami facility and a move was necessitated to Ybor City, near Tampa, a historic home of American cigarmaking. This facility proved unsatisfactory, however, due to the prohibitively high cost of production in the United States.
Perdomo also expanded production abroad during the cigar boom of the 1990s, with Nick Senior coming out of retirement in 1997 to help open a production facility in Estelí, Nicaragua. This move "really saved our company," Nick Junior retrospectively recalled. The company sold 1 million cigars for the first time in that year.
This facility was rapidly outgrown and was replaced with a custom-built facility in the same city in 1999.
Perdomo created a stir during the cigar boom of the 1990s with the introduction of the Perdomo² ("Perdomo squared"), one of the first box-pressed cigars of the period.
In April 1999, Perdomo was approached by Cano A. Ozgener, head of C.A.O. International, with a proposition to produce its C.A.O. L'Anniversaire line, patterned after the legendary Partagas Serie D No. 4. Ozgener was losing his manufacturing plant, Tabacalera Tambor of Costa Rica, manufacturer of the Bahia brand and needed a new partner to keep his popular product in production and Perdomo was chosen over other suitors. A mutually beneficial partnership resulted which aided in the expansion of the Perdomo operation.
The company produces a wide range of handmade cigars ranging from entry-level bundled products to its flagship, the Perdomo Patriarch. In addition, Perdomo produces a wide array of products on behalf of other companies, including retailing giant Thompson & Co. and cigar distributor Philips and King.
Today Perdomo's manufacturing operation is based in an 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) facility in Estelí, Nicaragua, known colloquially as "El Monstro" (The Monster). The building is the second-largest cigarmaking facility in Nicaragua, trailing only the factory of Nicaraguan American Tobaccos S.A. (NATSA), also located in Estelí. Headquarters are located in Miami Lakes, Florida.
Over 2,000 people were employed by the company in 2010, according to the company's website. Among those who have worked for the company is Ernesto Padilla, a Cuban-American graphic artist that worked in the Perdomo marketing department before leaving to establish with his brother Carlos their own eponymous brand of cigars in 2003.
Nick Perdomo, Jr. remains as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tabacalera Perdomo, while his wife, the New Jersey-born Janine Perdomo, serves Vice President of Operations. The couple's son, Nicholas Perdomo III (born c. 1992), is being groomed as heir to the Tabacalera Perdomo throne, being taught every aspect of the cigar making process from planting to packaging during 13 summers in Nicaragua.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History," perdomocigars.net/ Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 1:54 mark.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 3:54 mark.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 4:27 mark.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 3:41 mark.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 5:33 mark.
- ^ a b c d e f "Biography: Nick Perdomo, Jr.," perdomocigars.com/ Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i David Savona, "The World According to Perdomo," Cigar Aficionado, December 2001.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 29:32 mark.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 7:24 mark.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 7:27 mark.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 29:49 mark.
- ^ Richard B. Perelman, Perelman's Pocket Cyclopedia of Cigars. Los Angeles: Perelman, Pioneer & Co., 2010; pp. 518-519.
- ^ a b David Savona, "Nicaragua: The New Start for Nicaragua." Cigar Aficionado, November/December 2003.
- ^ "Miami Lakes Vice Mayor Sues Over Criticism," Miami Herald, July 31, 2010.
- ^ "Biography: Janine Perdomo," perdomocigars.com/ Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- ^ Nick Perdomo, Interview with The Wine Wench, Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010, 30:29 mark.
- Perdomo² (squared)
- Perdomo Edición de Silvio
- Perdomo Fresco
- Perdomo Gran Cru
- Perdomo Habano
- Perdomo Inmenso
- Perdomo Lot 23
- Perdomo Moments
- Perdomo Patriarch
- Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary
- Perdomo Reserve Golf
- Cuban Bullet
- Don Rios
- Genuine Cuban Counterfeits
- La Tradición Cabinet Series
- Nick's Sticks
- Tierra del Sol
- Tabacalera Perdomo homepage, perdomocigars.net/ Retrieved September 14, 2010. Age verification required.
- Perdomo Cigars Facebook page, facebook.com/ Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- 1000 Hands, Perdomo factory tour video. youtube.com/ Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- "The Perdomo Factory Tour uncut trailer," facebook.com/ Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- The Wine Wench, Interview with Nick Perdomo Jr., Blog Talk Radio, August 19, 2010.
- Perdomo Cigars Australia, perdomocigars.com.au/ Retrieved November 29, 2010.
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