Cigar birthdays in August. Like every month we celebrate some of the people in the cigar industry. If we miss anybody on our calendar, please let us know and we will add him or her. Here are the birthdays for August.
August 3: Juan Lopez. When you are born Juan Lopez and you’re Cuban, there is only one career possible. That is premium cigars. But this Juan Lopez isn’t a brand, but a brand ambassador and VP of Sales for Gurkha Cigars.
August 7: Felix Gonzalez. The artist behind the beautiful creations of Marrero Cigars. A former employee of Arturo Fuente, La Flor Dominicana, and Davidoff, and now a partner of Marrero cigars. All his cigars are unique and work of art.
August 7: Kurt van Keppel. The man who was dissatisfied with the cigar cutters on the market. With business partner Scott, he designed a new cutter, the Xikar Xi cutters. From that, the duo created one of the best-known cigar accessory brands in the world. The brand is now in the hands of Quality Importers, and Kurt is no longer involved in the cigar industry. Yet, his invention made such an impact that Ministry of Cigar will include him on our calendar forever.
August 7: Rick Charles. The international Market manager for Ventura Cigars. And Rick’s doing good, with more markets opening for PSyKo and other brands within the Ventura portfolio
August 8: Mike Bellody. Owner and founder of MLB Cigars. A passionate cigar owner with a successful business who wanted a cigar of his own. That ventured into MLB cigars, all made on the Dominican Republic.
August 9: Maya Selva. The French Honduran power woman who created Flor de Selva 25 years ago. During those years, she created a space of her own in the industry and the cigar market. Europe knows Maya Selva, now it’s time for the USA.
August 12: Jesper Petersen. Cigar distributor, cigar brand owner, and a Great Dane. Hanging out with Jesper means having a great time with great cigars and lots of drinks. Happy birthday, brother.
August 15: Erik D Espinosa. The crown prince of Espinosa Cigars and Tabacalera La Zona. And that’s not a bad spot to be in. A young, small but already renowned factory in the heart of Esteli that produces cigar recognized by the cigar community
August 17: Ferdinand Piet. Owner and founder of Ministry of Cigars. From his first cigar in 2005 he was sold. He learned, got a job in the industry, traveled to the USA, and Nicaragua to learn from the biggest names in the industry. And now he’s providing cigar news to the world from a tropical spot in South East Asia.
August 20: Sebastian Decoppet. The owner of the prestigious Rhein 1905 cigar shop in Geneva and his own cigar brand, Cavalier Geneve. The cigars are gaining a lot of traction internationally. It’s known for the gold square on the wrapper.
August 26: Ramon Zapata. The founder and owner of Gesinta, a powerhouse in the Spanish tobacco distribution game. But Zapata and his family are also responsible for the international expansion and distribution of Condega Cigars.
August 26: Steve Saka. The man doesn’t need any introduction. The first cigar blogger. Former CEO of Drew Estate, and now the proud owner of Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. Probably one of the most popular of the modern boutique cigar brands.
August 30: Jessi Flores. With his friend Jonathan Drew, Flores is responsible for bringing street art and graffiti in the cigar industry. After creating beautiful art for Drew Estate for 20 years, Flores is now an independent artist with his own webshop.
August 30: Sal Luchetta. Sal is one of the cigar importers and distributors in Canada. He imports A.J. Fernandez, Jochy Blanco, and PDR cigars into the Northern American country. But he also owns his own brand: Arista. And that’s why he’s on the birthday calendar of Ministry of Cigars.
August 31: Darren Chioffi. Owner of Principle Cigars and owner of the most likely largest selection of vintage cigar art. Chioffi travels the world to find new rare items to add items to his collection. Or to enter the Cigar Smoking World Championship, where he has a huge reputation. Chioffi had the world record slow smoking of a Mareva cigar in the past.