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.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.