Padron Cigars is a family-owned cigar company producing high-quality cigars for over half a century. The company was founded by José Orlando Padrón, who immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1961.
The Early Years
Jose Orlando Padron was born in 1926 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, an area known for producing some of the world’s best tobacco. He grew up working in the tobacco fields and became a cigar-making expert. However, after being imprisoned and tortured by the Castro regime, he fled Cuba and sought asylum in the United States.
The Founding of Padron Cigars
In 1961, Jose Orlando Padron arrived in the United States with very little to his name. He had no job, money, or connections in the cigar industry. However, he did have a wealth of knowledge and experience in cigar making, which he had learned from his family in Cuba. After settling in Miami, he began making cigars in his garage. He used his tobacco and cigar-making knowledge to create high-quality cigars that quickly gained a following among cigar enthusiasts in the area.
The Rise of Padron Cigars
In 1964, Padrón Cigars was officially established, and the company began producing its first line of cigars, the Padrón Series 1964. These cigars were made in limited quantities and were only available to a select group of retailers. The Padrón Series 1964 quickly gained a reputation for being one of the best cigars on the market, and the demand for them increased.
Moving to Nicaragua
In 1970, Padrón Cigars moved its operations to Nicaragua, where it could have better access to high-quality tobacco. The company began producing a variety of new cigar lines, including the Padrón 2000, Padrón 3000, and Padrón 4000. These cigars were made with the same high-quality tobacco as the Padrón Series 1964, but they were more affordable and accessible to a broader range of cigar enthusiasts.
Setbacks and Challenges
In 1978, a photograph of Jose Orlando Padron and Fidel Castro surfaced, causing controversy and backlash among some of Padron’s customers. As a result, Padron’s factory in Nicaragua was burned down by anti-Castro militants. The factory was completely destroyed, and Padron lost everything. However, Padron did not let this setback stop him. He was determined to rebuild his factory and continue producing high-quality cigars. With the help of his family and supporters, he rebuilt his factory and continued producing cigars.
Expansion and Innovation
In 1994, Padrón Cigars introduced its 26th Anniversary cigar, which was made to celebrate the company’s 26th year in business. This cigar was highly acclaimed and was named Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado in 2004. Padrón Cigars continued to expand its product line, introducing new cigars like the Padrón Family Reserve and the Padrón Damaso. The Padrón Family Reserve is a series of limited-edition cigars made with the best tobacco from the Padrón family’s private reserve. The Padrón Damaso is a departure from the company’s traditional full-bodied cigars, offering a milder smoke perfect for beginners or those who prefer a lighter cigar.
The Legacy of Jose Orlando Padron
Today, Padrón Cigars is one of the most respected cigar companies in the world, known for producing high-quality cigars with exceptional flavor and construction. The company continues to be family-owned and operated, with Jose Orlando Padron’s son, Jorge Padron, serving as the company’s current president. Despite its success, the company remains committed to its roots and producing the best cigars possible.
The history of Padrón Cigars is a story of hard work, dedication, and a commitment to quality. Jose Orlando Padron faced many challenges, including imprisonment, torture, and factory destruction. However, he remained committed to his craft and to producing the best cigars possible. His legacy lives on through the company he founded, and his commitment to quality and customer satisfaction continues to be at the heart of everything Padrón Cigars does. Today, Padrón Cigars is a testament to his hard work, dedication, and commitment to quality, and it continues to be one of the most respected cigar companies in the world.