Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Something may be brewing in the Dominican Republic, and it's not coffee

The premium cigar business is not the type of industry that lends itself to investigative journalism, nor is Cigar Advisor's function much more than to bring you industry news, commentary, cigar reviews, and other pertinent information.

Nonetheless, sitting around in New Orleans during the IPCPR, a couple of us concluded the time was right for something big to happen within the industry (lifting of the Cuban embargo notwithstanding). As the conversation continued, we speculated about the possibilities of a major retailer or brand acquisition that would be a real coup to a major distributor.

Conversation and speculation aside, in Santiago, The Dominican Republic the other day, an associate of ours saw Rene Castaneda, Vice President of Miami Cigar & Company, Don José Pepin Garcia, and Jamie Garcia with Guillermo Leon and Jose Blanco of La Aurora.

Of course, that's no surprise. Miami Cigar has become a serious customer of the Garcias with the success of their Nestor Miranda Collection. However, there's also a social networking connection to this story which may or may not be of any significance.

While doing a Facebook search for Don Pepin's daughter, Janny Garcia, one of her photos came up. Wearing a cute red dress, Janny is standing between her father and Nestor Miranda. This shot, I'm guessing, was most likely taken in Señor Miranda's office at about the time they were ready to release the Nestor Miranda Special Selection cigars.

On the other hand, could something more significant be afoot beyond Don Pepin just making cigars for Nestor Miranda? Perhaps some sort of distribution pact or, even more significantly, the acquisition of Pepin's company by La Aurora?

After mentioning this to a good friend of mine in the industry, he felt there were other companies that would more likely be candidates for such a move. However, if you factor-in the distribution of E/O Brands (601, Cubao, Mi Barrio - all made by Pepin), it would appear that Miami Cigar is more likely to walk-off with the prize.

In any event, something's going to happen, and I'm willing to go all-in by suggesting it will probably be the latter scenario. If I'm wrong, no harm done I suppose; I've acquired a taste for crow.

Finally, at this writing, Janny hasn't accepted my request to friend-up yet, but I hope she will. If what I predict really happens, I'd like to be one of the first to congratulate her.

~ G.K.

P.S. Wouldn't you know it, within 5-minutes after this posting, I discovered that Janny Garcia had already accepted my Facebook friend request.

1 comment:

Martin said...

What do you think would happen in the 1st 6 months after the embargo was lifted? One year? Five years?