Arturo Fuente. Padrón.
Two of the cigar industry’s biggest names will be making cigars to honor the men who built their respective companies: Carlos Fuente Sr. and José Orlando Padrón.
The project has been in the works for many years following the passings of Carlos Fuente Sr. in August 2016 and Jose O. Padrón in December 2017. The two sons have been friends for many years, not only through their businesses but through work for Cigar Rights of America and other projects, and it was that friendship and regular interactions that served as the foundation for this project.
Each company blended a cigar for the other patriarch, meaning Carlos Fuente Jr. made a cigar to honor José Padrón, and Jorge Padrón—José’s son—made a cigar to honor Carlos Fuente Sr. It was a project that evolved out of a number of discussions since their fathers’ passings, but the plan was always for one company to create a cigar to honor the other.
The plan is for the two cigars—which will both measure 7 x 50—to sell together sometime next year, though Padrón told halfwheel that a number of the details about the release are still being worked out. For now, his mission is creating a cigar worthy of honoring the Fuente name. “If you have the Mount Rushmore of cigars, Carlos Fuente Sr. is on it,” said Jorge Padrón, comparing the task to preparing to play basketball against Michael Jordan.
“It stemmed from a series of ongoing conversations,” told halfwheel. “What better way to celebrate their lives by honoring them with cigars, ones that show the trust and respect we have for each other,” he added. He added that losing their fathers—both titans of the cigar industry—created further bonding for them over the years as they acknowledged missing two men who were so influential in their lives. He noted that there are many commonalities in how the two men built their businesses, the adversities they faced, and most importantly, the lessons they instilled in their children.
It is a friendship and bond that goes so deep, Padrón hesitated to use the word competitors to describe the two companies, even though their cigars sit alongside each other in many of the humidors in the world and the two companies are often mentioned together when it comes to talking about the top cigar companies in the world. Instead, he prefers to simply acknowledge that they are both incredible businesses operating within the same industry.
While the project had been in the works but put on hold for one reason or another over the years, it is now is moving forward with an unveiling slated for the 2021 Premium Cigar Association Convention & Trade Show in July.
“Padrón and Fuente will pay tribute to their fathers,” Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr. told halfwheel late Thursday.
“If they were still here, I think that both of them would be smiling seeing this project come together,” said Padrón. “This project is very rewarding for me to do, and to show what the industry is all about—the heritage, the passions, the traditions.”
Fuente Jr. also mentioned that some proceeds of the sale would be donated to charity.
Jorge Padrón is scheduled to be a guest on Meet the Professor, a show co-hosted by Carlos Fuente Jr, this Sunday.
Patrick Lagreid contributed to this article.