Abdel “A.J.” Fernandez and Kris Katchaturian have reached an agreement that will see the latter leave the company.
Katchaturian is Fernandez’s long-time business partner and helped Fernandez grow from a small factory in Nicaragua to an operation that includes a eponymous brand, sales force, farms and a much larger and more modern factory, built from the ground up.
In a phone call with halfwheel, Katchaturian said he was retiring to spend more time with his family. He also indicated that he would remain on with A.J. Fernandez as a consultant, something the company confirmed, and stressed that he and Fernandez remain family.
While Fernandez spends almost all of his time in the manufacturing operations in Estelí, Katchaturian focused on selling the A.J. Fernandez cigars through the distribution company Sunrise Palm, LLC. The company has stated that its salesforce will remain intact although it’s unclear at this time who will assume Katchaturian’s roles.
As a company, A.J. Fernandez has grown immensely in the last year in large part thanks to the success of New World, a line Katchaturian would often to describe as a “$10 cigar for $6.”