The History of Padron Part 3

December 3, 2015

In 1970, Jose Orlando Padron had established himself in Esteli, Nicaragua. He had found the tobacco he had long been searching for. It was flavorful and strong and of the highest quality. One would think, that the company saw smooth sailing from then on. However this was not the case. Soon, Jose began having to deal with familiar political problems. Nicaragua was in position of severe political unrest at this time, much as Cuba was 20 years prior.

Jose tried desperately to stay out of the troubles, but it was not to be. His factory was burned downed during the political riots of the time. It was rebuilt, but just in case Jose also built a separate factory over the border in Honduras. There was much uncertainty as to whether the brand could continue in such an unreliable political climate. The Sandistas rebellion had been a success, and they were now in control of the Nicaraguan government. In order to final solve his problems, Jose spoke to a high ranking Sandista official. The official then promised Jose there would be no more interference with his business and he could begin rolling cigars once more.

Even still, the path towards success was not clear. The Sandistas were a left wing socialist organization. At the time the United States, the main market for Padron cigars, was notoriously anti-socialist. As they had done with Cuba, the United States began a trade embargo with Nicaragua in 1985. Due to the popularity of his product and his non political stance, Jose was granted permission to continue to export to the US for an extra 6 months. There was finally a light at the end of tunnel in 1989, when President Bush lifted the embargo, and Padron cigars began to pour into the United States.

Since then, the Padron company has flourished and become the gem it is today. Jose and his son Jorge, now run the business together. In 2003, a new facility was built, twice as big as the original. The Company is still headquartered in Miami, but all manufacturing duties are still in Esteli. It was a long and hard journey for this company. While looking back, one may ask if it was all worth it. Then you sit back and light up a Padron 1926 maduro, and you realize that yes, it was.


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