Enrique Kiki Berger passed away last week at the age of 56. A heart attack was the cause. Don Kiki, as he was called, got into the cigar business during the boom. But unlike many others, he stayed in and had his own factory in Esteli. Mostly, Kiki made brands for others although he also made Cuban Crafters cigars named for the shop he also owned in Miami.
Berger was the one who made Savanelli’s first cigar by using tobaccos he planted next to the Pan American highway by his factory. Kiki, despite health problems over the years, was optimistic and friendly towards almost everyone. He helped young Jonathan Drew and countless others in Nicaragua. The Padrons sent their respects via Cigar Aficionado:
We are sorry to have lost Enrique ‘Kiki’ Berger, a champion of the cigar industry who was always happy to help others despite his health issues. By the sacrifice and selfless act of his wife, Karen, donating a kidney to him, his life was lengthened, giving us all additional time with this great man. The Padrón family is united in offering our condolences to Karen and the rest of his family as we pay our respects. We will never forget him; rest in peace.”
In 2012, Kiki came out with the first certified kosher cigar made for a Miami company. Kiki was a big man with a big heart and he will be missed.