Cigar birthdays in July. 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 July.
July 1: Yadie Dayana. The owner of Dayana Cigars. A well known Indonesian cigar brand and famous shop in Jakarta, Indonesia. The owner of the brand and shop is a great botl and the winner of the 2019 CSWC Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.
July 5: Alan Rubin. The founder of Alec Bradley Cigars, the company he named after his sons Alec & Bradley. Both work in the company now and are releasing cigars under the Alec & Bradley label.
July 5: Christian Eiroa. Born in the industry, together with his father he made Camacho a huge success. After selling Camacho, Eiroa started his CLE and Eiroa brands. Plus he partnered up with Tom Lazuka for Asylum 13. Eiroa owns Tabacalera El Aladino in Danli, Honduras.
July 7: Dr. Gaby Kafie. The Honduran born American, who gave up a career as a physician to pursue his dream of being a cigar manufacturer. With Kafie 1901 and San Jeronimo, he’s conquering the world. All from Tabacalera Kafie y Cia, a respected factory that makes plenty of private labels as well.
July 7: Jim Colucci. An industry veteran who ran Altadis USA for decades. After retirement, Colucci became the CEO for Sindicato Cigars and he’s now the main man at Gurkha after Kaizad Hansotia stepped down.
July 8: Michael Giannini. Another industry veteran who worked for General Cigars in the past, where he founded Foundry Cigars. Now he’s with Ventura Cigar Company, and Ventura acquired the Foundry name. So maybe we see new Foundry cigars on the market soon.
July 8: Steven Bailey. The Bailey family made their name and fortune growing cigarette tobacco and producing cigarettes. A few years ago, Bailey stepped into the premium cigar industry with Cornelius & Anthony. The brand was very popular for a while. But Bailey sold his cigarette empire, fired all the Cornelius & Anthony staff. Since then, the brand is dead in the water. Unfortunately, as we were fans.
July 9: Oscar Valladares. His rise to cigar fame is beautiful. He was introduced to the premium cigar industry when he was hired to be Rocky Patel’s driver in Honduras. It didn’t take Valladares long to start a factory of his own and creating cigars that earned him a spot in every humidor.
July 10: Mirko Giotto. The CEO and founder of El Sueno Cigars. A brand that has been around for 15 years. Cigars made in the Dominican Republic. As an avid cigar smoker, having a brand of his own was Giotto’s dream. And he’s living that dream.
July 12: Philip G Wynne. The man behind Felipe Gregorio cigars. He started in Honduras under the guidance of Julio Eiroa. Then he moved to Nicaragua and started a factory with Omar Ortiz. But when Frank Sinatra asked him to make him a cigar, Sinatra had one condition. It had to be made in the Dominican Republic. So Wynne opened a cigar factory there too.
July 12: Tom Mulder. A Dutch entrepreneur, a cigar aficionado who came up with the La Sagrada Familia brand. The cigars were a hit in The Netherlands and are now available in Germany and Malaysia too. All made in Nicaragua at the Joya de Nicaragua factory.
July 17: Jan Vistisen. A Danish cigar lover who created Royal Danish Cigars, now called King of Ashes, House of Nicaragua. But he’s also experimenting with liquor. Spanish whisky and Arruco, a blend of Cognac and Rum. And there is a version with Rum, Cognac, and Armagnac.
July 19: Edgar Hoill. The one-shot one-kill urban photographer. His style is to shoot one picture, the perfect picture. And that’s what he aimed for with his OSOK cigars as well.
July 19: Roberto Martinez. RM Cigars, a small boutique brand with several blends on the market. Roberto Martinez founded the brand and is selling cigars online and through retailers.
July 24: Gustavo de Hostos. A man of many talents. Diplomat, crooner, pilot, and cigar maker. His Dominican puros are made at De Los Reyes. De Hostos only wants to make Dominican puros as he is proud of his Dominican heritage.
July 25: Hector Alfonso Sr. aka Mr. Warmth. Instrumental for the success of Tabacalera La Zona. And a man with great stories. We highly recommend smoking a cigar and having a drink with Hector on the deck of Tabacalera La Zona. It was the highlight of our 2015 trip to Nicaragua.
July 27: Franciso Batista. The factory manager and blender for Royal Agio Caribbean Cigars. The man behind the amazing Balmoral Añejo XO blends and the San Pedro de Macoris.
July 27: Jean Michel Louis. If you say Saga, you say the Reyes family. But that includes Jean Michel Louis. He’s part of the De Los Reyes team and a familiar face for many of us in the industry.