Earlier today, cigar industry veteran Enrique “Kiki” Berger passed away. Berger recently suffered a heart attack and complications from the event are said to be responsible for taking his life.
He was best known for Cuban Crafters, his Florida-based retail stores and mail order business, and Tabacalera Estelí, a Nicaraguan-based cigar operation. In 2009, he and the Argenti brothers teamed to make Berger & Argenti, although that company is now defunct.
“When I moved to Esteli I lived across the street from Kiki’s farm and he always treated me with great respect and made me feel at home,” wrote Nicholas Melillo. “I can’t believe the news today. God rest your soul Don Kiki.”
Melillo was one of a host of Nicaraguan-based cigar manufactures who have already expressed their condolences. Many reached by halfwheel were too distraught to comment.
Services have not been announced.