Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. That could never be said of a Padron. José Padron has put so much into the cigars that bear his name that both have earned the highest respect from those who know them. Both are Cuban to the core. And both are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Hand-rolled Padron cigars, like the man they're named after, have roots that reach all the way back to 15th-century Spain. Spanish explorers discovered the Central American tradition of smoking string-tied rolls of select tobacco leaves. In fact, the Spanish word cigarro, from which "cigar" is derived, was probably an adaptation of sik'ar - the Mayan term for smoking. The tobacco and the tradition these explorers subsequently introduced to Spain became widely adopted throughout Europe two centuries later. Cigars found their way to North America with the Connecticut settlement in 1633.
Cigars have always been associated with success. And no cigar exudes success more sweetly than Padron cigars - for José Padron's personal story ranks up there with some of the great American success stories of all time. Raised in Piñar del Rio, Cuba, José was trained at an early age in the ways of tobacco cultivation and the fine art of hand rolling cigars. Just like his father and grandfathers before him.
The political tensions in Cuba following Fidel Castro's rise - not to mention the confiscation of the family's tobacco plantation - forced José to flee with his wife and young children in tow to the land of his ancestors in Spain. Less than a year later, they came to the U.S. through New York and finally settled in Miami.
For over two and a half years, José worked an assortment of odd jobs - anything to keep his family fed. Still, he managed to set aside a little cash over time, and on September 8, 1964, José put everything he owned into his dream: planting the tobacco seeds he managed to secret away from Cuba. Renting a small warehouse in Little Havana, he and a single employee began producing cigars by day, which he then sold at night. In 1965, they sold 66,000 cigars. Today, they sell more than that every week. Meanwhile, the Padron grandchildren are being trained in the ways of tobacco cultivation and the fine art of hand rolling cigars. Just like the generations of Padrons before them.
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