The collective De Los Reyes et al. booth seemed surprised that I arrived without a hangover. Apparently, last year I might have left a certain impression. De Los Reyes was my first stop on Day 3, though it was nearly 11 a.m. because of the Premium Cigar Association’s Monday morning press conference.

De Los Reyes has nothing new at this year’s trade show, so I took some time to sit on the very comfortable couch in the booth and catch up with Nirka Reyes Estrella and Jean Michel-Louis of De Los Reyes and Oriana Veloso, formerly of Procigar. In particular, Nirka and I chatted about a wide range of subjects: baked goods, shoes, the earlier parts of her career and our various experiences at Cigars International’s Cigarfest. One thing that got brought up in passing, Nirka is expanding the tobacco operations at De Los Reyes so that the factory can store a lot more tobacco. I know very little about how to run a cigar factory—that’s Nirka’s job—but I have picked up on the idea that it’s difficult to have too much tobacco.

One other thing I learned, this will be the final year of this De Los Reyes booth, which typically houses not only the De Los Reyes brands but also the companies the factory makes cigars for: Debonaire House, Patoro, Topper, and, this year, Casa de Sueños. Typically, Cattle Baron is also in this array but the company did not exhibit in 2022. Reyes told me that they are going to have a booth that requires less work to set up and deconstruct. She also told me Louis planned on taking an ax to the booth upon its final deconstruction. I’m not sure that happened but I could definitely see it happening.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of 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.