J Cortes keeps a tradition alive. It is not uncommon for long-lasting family-owned businesses to have employees that work for the company all their life. Just like their father or mother did, and maybe their children will do so as well. It was one of the things that hit employees of Royal Agio hard. Sources within Royal Agio told Ministry of Cigars that the sale to Scandinavian Tobacco Group brought a lot of insecurities and that long-time employees begged the Wintermans family not to sell as “your family has been taking care of the employment of my family for more than 60 years”, meaning that several generations worked for the same company. That level of commitment and loyalty from both sides is hard to find nowadays.
But there are still beautiful stories like this. And a new, novel-worthy one just emerged from Zwevegem, Belgium. From the family-owned and run J. Cortes, the owners of Oliva Cigars.
The Monard Trapletti story
In 1976, exactly 50 years after founding the company, Maurits VanderMarliere, employed a new representative by the name of Pierre Monard. Monard wasn’t new to the industry as his wife ran a tobacconist store. 11 years later Monard’s son-in-law Marc Trapletti also joins J. Cortes. At the end of 2020, Trapletti was ready to retire and enjoy his golden years. But that left a gap at J. Cortes. And that’s when Trapletti’s daughter Christel comes into the story.
For as long as she can remember, J. Cortes is a continuous factor in her life. Her grandmother sold J. Cortes cigars, her grandfather and father worked for the company. She knows the company well, she knows the VanderMarliere family well. And with her skills in English and Russian plus 14 years of experience in customer service and marketing, she was the right person to fill the gap that her father left. She is now the third generation in the Belgian cigar company. Keeping a tradition alive.