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Press Release: Willy Herrera Joins Drew Estate

by Bryan Glynn, June 22, 2011
  • CigarAndPipes.com

Miami, FL – On June 15th, Willy Herrera, formerly the blender and master cigar maker of El Titan de Bronze,joined Drew Estate. Willy is bringing his unique cigar skills and talents to this dynamic, rapidly expandingpremium cigar manufacturer. He will be responsible for creating and crafting handmade, traditional cigar blendsunder his own moniker within their Esteli, Nicaragua-based La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and will report directly toDrew Estate’s executive board.
Herrera is best known for overseeing and directing daily operations and production at Little Havana’s El Titan deBronze (ETB) located on Miami’s famed Calle Ocho for the last 6 years. Established in 1995, this family ownedand operated “fabriquita” hand rolls cigars utilizing Cuban entubado techniques and manufacturers premiumhandmades for wholesale and retail sale. Also, ETB is the manufacturer for Miami Cigar’s new Casa Mirandabrand and the reblended Padilla “8&11” to be reintroduced at this year’s IPCPR tradeshow. ETB will continue tobe operated successfully as an independent factory under the watchful eye of its owner, Sandy Cobas.
“I have decided to join Drew Estate for many reasons,” says 38-year old Herrera, “first and most importantly, I’veknown Jonathan for a number of years and separate of business, we have become good friends. I have longadmired his approach and innovative style and I feel that we can combine Drew Estate’s sense of style and freshnew ideas with my old school, traditional Cuban way of making cigars. Their factory is amazing and more so theirproduction team is top flight. Plus, DE has deep inventories of exceptional tobacco and great relationships with allthe top growers which will afford me the opportunity to have at-will access to amazing leaf. I am very anxious toget started and know I will be able to create fantastic cigars for consumers to enjoy.”
Jonathan Drew, Drew Estate’s Co-Founder and Master Cigar Maker, states, “What I respect most about Willy isthat he’s authentic. Let me explain further. When I moved to Nicaragua to manufacture cigars in 1998, I onlyknew how to blend. I knew nothing about the inherent characteristics of heavy leaf, how to determine good cropsfrom bad, how to ferment tobacco through pre-industry, or how to make the entire process functional in a factorysetting. It took my young team and I many years to become what we have and we learned through the school ofhard-knocks. Nothing came easy.” Drew continues, “Watching Willy make magic in his small factory in Miami wasinspirational to me and a major reason why I pursued the new relationship. Willy ran his factory for over sixyears, including the purchasing of tobacco, curing, blending and quality control – he has earned his rank as a realmanufacturer, plus he’s humble, honest, and cool as hell. He’s a real Don.”
“Our goal is to give Willy the freedom to create his own unique style of cigars within our operation,” explainsMarvin Samel, DE’s Co-Founder and Executive VP. “Almost a factory within a factory, so as to allow him tosucceed on his own merit. Ultimately the intent is for there to be brands that are not only ‘Willy Hererra’ byname, but are ones that are truly those of his creation and efforts, not just some marketing gimmick.”According to Steve Saka, Drew Estate’s President, “We are very excited to be adding Willy to the team. Six yearsago when I joined Drew Estate many thought I was crazy, but I saw something in JD, Marvin and the companythat many didn’t. I knew they could become world-class, master cigar makers and that they were capable ofdoing much more, they just needed to be directed and nurtured. Today we are known for not only making greatinfused cigars, but also some of the very best traditional cigars in the world, in what is arguably the besthandmade premium cigar factory in Nicaragua. I see the same spark in Willy, he has the talent to become fargreater than he already is, he just needs the environment and resources to blossom. We can provide both.”
“Although Willy is very anxious to get started, we are going to make him take a deep breath,” adds Saka. “Weare going to afford him the opportunity to spend the upcoming year in Nicaragua, to work with our team, to feel,to smoke and to blend with our and other new tobaccos. We also want to afford him the chance to spend sometime on the road visiting cigar smokers around the country not only to introduce himself, but to listen and learn.There is no rush or timetable, what is important to us is that Willy become part of the team and for him to focussolely on creating the great cigars we know he is capable of.”
Herrera will be joining Drew Estate at this year’s annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers tradeshowin Las Vegas, Nevada this July 17th thru 21st, 2011.About Drew Estate, Inc.
Established in 1996, Drew Estate Inc. is a privately held manufacturer and distributor of innovative and traditionalpremium cigars for today’s cigar smoker. In just over ten years, Drew Estate’s ACID line of premium cigars hasbecome one of the top five selling premium cigar brands in the nation. Regarded as the pioneer and leader in theinfused cigar® market, Drew Estate’s Nicaraguan factory handcrafts ACID by Drew Estate®, Natural®, Java byDrew Estate®, and other unique cigars along with its traditional Liga Privada®, La Vieja Habana® andUndercrown® marks. For more information, please visit: www.drewestate.com.®ACID, Natural, Java by Drew Estate, Undercrown, La Vieja Habana and Liga Privada are registered trademarksof Drew Estate and/or affiliated companies.###

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