SS August 2016

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August 2016 SMOKESHOP 37 came from Nicaragua and it was a pain moving the tobaccos to Honduras. SMOKESHOP: Your father is still involved in the company isn't he? PADRÓN: My dad is very involved in the company now. In fact, right now he is in the office right next to me writing a book about his life. He has been hard at work on that for the last several months. We don't know when it will come out, we're working on it but there is a lot to do. He's got an inter- esting history and a lot of things have happened to him over his life. He has a lot to write about. I think it is going to be an interesting read. SMOKESHOP: You are not known as a company that adds a lot of new cigars every year, in fact many times you have not added any new lines at all. Is that by design? PADRÓN: Yes. It has been many years for us in the business and we certainly have not done it in a quick fashion. We've taken slow and steady steps and built the company that way. I think it is almost impossible to do what we did in today's market. During the boom we were very respectful of our retailers and consumers and we have kept doing business that way. We have created a loyal customer base based upon mutual respect for our consumers and retailer. We have some expensive cigars, but we also have some very great value cigars that are competitive products and great quality and that is sacred. We haven't touched that. We want to keep those things in line. If you want spend $30 for a great, great cigar you can do it. If you want to spend less you can still get a Padrón, a 2000 or 3000—they are great cigars. I think it is important as a company to have a wide array of products so you can reach consumers of all types and we've been careful to maintain that and preserve that over the years. SMOKESHOP: Last year you released something very different, the Dámaso—a Connecticut wrapped cigar named for your great grandfather. That was a pretty big departure for you. PADRÓN: Absolutely. In our world you need to have products for every market and what people are asking for. We felt there was a segment we were not reach- ing and we could potentially lose out. Consumers come into the marketplace and try a mild cigar. And they work up to more full-bodied cigars like ours. We did not have a cigar for an entry point, we also didn't have any product for consumers who like to smoke lighter cigars…a cigar that tastes good but one that is milder. But we are never about volume; we are focused on having a presence. Little by little we will make our inroads. Almost 60 percent of the cigars that are sold in the market are Connecticut or lighter cigars. For us not to have a presence in that area is not a good thing. I don't want a customer to walk into a store…six out of 10 custom- ers that walk into a store or even five out of 10 come in and are requesting a lighter milder cigar, and we don't have something in that category we are automatically out in 50 percent of those transactions. So we needed to have something in there where people had an option with the Padrón. SMOKESHOP: So are you going to add to the Dámaso this year? PADRÓN: We will be adding a couple of new sizes to the Dámaso, but we are also coming up with a little bit stronger version. We wanted to make something a little more medium bod- ied with a bit different flavor but still Connecticut. We also will be adding a size to the family reserve and of course we'll have a cigar to mark my dad's 90th birthday. At this time the blend is almost done so I can't say exactly what it will be but I can say it will be a kick-ass cigar! > Top: Last year, Padrón launched its first new line in over seven years with the release of Dámaso, which is a milder profile Connecticut-wrapped blend. This year, the company will add several news sizes as well as a slightly stronger companion blend. Above: This past spring, Padrón rolled out a new 4 x 56 box press shape, Hermoso, in its 1964 Anniversary Series.

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