Happy Birthday Abe Flores. The man behind the PDR brand and factory in the Dominican Republic. The man behind A. Flores 1975, Flores y Rodriguez, El Trovador, and El Criolitto. And a former professional musician, he plays the bass.
Even though Flores has Dominican roots, he wasn’t born into tobacco. He was born in Massachuttes and became a professional musician. And also an IT professional. And in that last roll, he got connected with the tobacco industry, He started working as the IT guy for the Tinderbox corporation. Tinderbox operates a chain of tobacco shops all over the USA.
A few years later, Flores teamed up with the Rodriguez brothers in Tamboril. They ran a small factory. And that’s how the legacy began. PDR was born. That was in 2004, and since then, PDR has been growing steadily. And Flores his knowledge and skills have been recognized by his peers. He was invited to join Procigar. That is an honor that only a select few cigar manufacturers receive.
It all started with the PDR 1878 series. PDR stands for Pinar del Rio. And for fifteen years, PDR has been using Cuban names and Cuban artwork. For some of their cigars, PDR copied Cuban cigar rings. But they don’t need that, the quality speaks for itself. Flores also copied the H. Upmann Half Corona tins. But he improved the tins. The original, first release, tins from Habanos had a flat bottom. That caused the cigars to roll when cigars were taken out. So for the A. Flores Half Corona, Flores copied the tin but added a curved bottom so each cigar would be secured. Habanos saw those tins and copied that idea from Flores. Since then, the H. Upmann tins come with curved bottoms too.
Slowly PDR is revamping their packaging and artwork. No more copies of Cuban rings. Which is good. In our eyes, that devalued the brand. Usually, it’s lesser quality cigars that lift on the back of Cuban brands. But PDR cigars have quality enough to stand on their own. Good move to move away from copycat artwork.
So today it’s Abe’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Abe Flores. We will see you in a few days at the Intertabac trade show and smoke a nice Flores y Rodriguez cigar together. Make sure there’s a Flores y Rodriguez Connecticut Valley Reserve Azul waiting for us, okay?