After abruptly leaving his role as the primary shareholder and chairman of Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos in late January, Ramón Zapata is back in the premium cigar industry as he is launching a new distribution company in Spain called La Casa del Tabaco.

Zapata has been at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show this week and told halfwheel that he has been having conversations with several premium cigar companies who are looking to expand into the Spanish market and has already signed on several clients.

He isn’t yet disclosing his client list, but said that an announcement would likely be made in September or October. He did say that he will only be working with premium cigar companies and will not be offering mass market products.

A facility in Valencia, Spain has already been designed for tobacco storage, and the company is also offering custom cigar banding as well as professional assistance with events, tastings, marketing, media relations, point-of-sale monitoring and social network marketing.

Neither Zapata nor his son Aitor, who is the company’s director of marketing, will be taking a salary from this new venture, as the profits from La Casa del Tabaco will go to a fund called Tobacco Social Responsibility that will distribute them to various social projects, with a particular focus on people with disabilities and who come from disadvantaged families.


Davidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.